Meeting the need

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Flamborough residents have big hearts and they prove it every year during the local Food Bank's Christmas drive.

"We'll have our trailer full again and that's just what we wanted," Flamborough Food Bank manager Gail Bosma said this week, commenting on the spirit of giving that enveloped the community. "In Flamborough, the response is always so good. It's just overwhelming," she added.

Bosma said the groups and individuals who help make the annual drive such a success are just too many to mention - in fact, they're growing every year.

"More and more businesses are getting on board. I guess we're getting more visible," she said.

Supplies continue to come in this week, including food bags bought and donated by shoppers at Sobeys and Fortinos in Waterdown.

"They've just been wild with their bags. We've been collecting them three times a week," Bosma said.

As for Secret Santas - businesses, churches, schools, service clubs and organizations that provide toys and gifts for the needy, the developmentally disabled clients of CHOICES or seniors who have no one at Christmas - the response was so great this year, there weren't enough local families in need for all those who offered to be sponsors, said Bosma.

The volume of food donations collected this year was pretty consistent with last Christmas, she reports, adding that the drive doesn't just support Christmas needs but serves needy families in Flamborough throughout the year. Another collection, conducted in the spring by members of Calvary Christian Reformed Church in West Flamborough, helps augment supplies, which also get a boost every month with donations from six or seven local churches that run food drives on an ongoing basis.

Despite some initial concern that the Food Bank would suffer a shortfall this year because of the demands for donations over the past year to help survivors of natural disasters in other parts of the world, such fears proved unfounded.

"It hasn't made any difference, really," Bosma noted. "People still came through for us.

"My thanks go out to the schools, churches, organizations, businesses and individuals who were all so very supportive," she said.

About 70 hampers, filled with a turkey and all the fixings for Christmas dinner, went out to needy families in the area. The Girl Guides added bags of candies and the Waterdown Lions donated candy canes and Christmas cake for every hamper.

The remainder of food will line the shelves of the Food Bank and its trailer at the Carlisle United Church until distributed to the less fortunate throughout the year. While the bulk of the food goes to Flamborough residents, there are rare occasions when surplus supplies, such as pasta and baby food, are given to Wesley Urban Ministries or the Good Shepherd Centre in Hamilton, rather than let them exceed their expiry dates and spoil on the shelves.

The Food Bank has been provided with free space at the Carlisle church for the past 13 years.

Eight years ago, a trailer was added to provide more space to store donated items. Bosma admits that the facility is "pretty stretched" for space and that a new headquarters, in or around Waterdown, is something that needs consideration in the near future.

"I should start looking in January," she said, but added in the same breath, "There isn't really a facility that would hold us" that immediately comes to mind.

Meeting the need

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Flamborough residents have big hearts and they prove it every year during the local Food Bank's Christmas drive.

"We'll have our trailer full again and that's just what we wanted," Flamborough Food Bank manager Gail Bosma said this week, commenting on the spirit of giving that enveloped the community. "In Flamborough, the response is always so good. It's just overwhelming," she added.

Bosma said the groups and individuals who help make the annual drive such a success are just too many to mention - in fact, they're growing every year.

"More and more businesses are getting on board. I guess we're getting more visible," she said.

Supplies continue to come in this week, including food bags bought and donated by shoppers at Sobeys and Fortinos in Waterdown.

"They've just been wild with their bags. We've been collecting them three times a week," Bosma said.

As for Secret Santas - businesses, churches, schools, service clubs and organizations that provide toys and gifts for the needy, the developmentally disabled clients of CHOICES or seniors who have no one at Christmas - the response was so great this year, there weren't enough local families in need for all those who offered to be sponsors, said Bosma.

The volume of food donations collected this year was pretty consistent with last Christmas, she reports, adding that the drive doesn't just support Christmas needs but serves needy families in Flamborough throughout the year. Another collection, conducted in the spring by members of Calvary Christian Reformed Church in West Flamborough, helps augment supplies, which also get a boost every month with donations from six or seven local churches that run food drives on an ongoing basis.

Despite some initial concern that the Food Bank would suffer a shortfall this year because of the demands for donations over the past year to help survivors of natural disasters in other parts of the world, such fears proved unfounded.

"It hasn't made any difference, really," Bosma noted. "People still came through for us.

"My thanks go out to the schools, churches, organizations, businesses and individuals who were all so very supportive," she said.

About 70 hampers, filled with a turkey and all the fixings for Christmas dinner, went out to needy families in the area. The Girl Guides added bags of candies and the Waterdown Lions donated candy canes and Christmas cake for every hamper.

The remainder of food will line the shelves of the Food Bank and its trailer at the Carlisle United Church until distributed to the less fortunate throughout the year. While the bulk of the food goes to Flamborough residents, there are rare occasions when surplus supplies, such as pasta and baby food, are given to Wesley Urban Ministries or the Good Shepherd Centre in Hamilton, rather than let them exceed their expiry dates and spoil on the shelves.

The Food Bank has been provided with free space at the Carlisle church for the past 13 years.

Eight years ago, a trailer was added to provide more space to store donated items. Bosma admits that the facility is "pretty stretched" for space and that a new headquarters, in or around Waterdown, is something that needs consideration in the near future.

"I should start looking in January," she said, but added in the same breath, "There isn't really a facility that would hold us" that immediately comes to mind.

Meeting the need

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Flamborough residents have big hearts and they prove it every year during the local Food Bank's Christmas drive.

"We'll have our trailer full again and that's just what we wanted," Flamborough Food Bank manager Gail Bosma said this week, commenting on the spirit of giving that enveloped the community. "In Flamborough, the response is always so good. It's just overwhelming," she added.

Bosma said the groups and individuals who help make the annual drive such a success are just too many to mention - in fact, they're growing every year.

"More and more businesses are getting on board. I guess we're getting more visible," she said.

Supplies continue to come in this week, including food bags bought and donated by shoppers at Sobeys and Fortinos in Waterdown.

"They've just been wild with their bags. We've been collecting them three times a week," Bosma said.

As for Secret Santas - businesses, churches, schools, service clubs and organizations that provide toys and gifts for the needy, the developmentally disabled clients of CHOICES or seniors who have no one at Christmas - the response was so great this year, there weren't enough local families in need for all those who offered to be sponsors, said Bosma.

The volume of food donations collected this year was pretty consistent with last Christmas, she reports, adding that the drive doesn't just support Christmas needs but serves needy families in Flamborough throughout the year. Another collection, conducted in the spring by members of Calvary Christian Reformed Church in West Flamborough, helps augment supplies, which also get a boost every month with donations from six or seven local churches that run food drives on an ongoing basis.

Despite some initial concern that the Food Bank would suffer a shortfall this year because of the demands for donations over the past year to help survivors of natural disasters in other parts of the world, such fears proved unfounded.

"It hasn't made any difference, really," Bosma noted. "People still came through for us.

"My thanks go out to the schools, churches, organizations, businesses and individuals who were all so very supportive," she said.

About 70 hampers, filled with a turkey and all the fixings for Christmas dinner, went out to needy families in the area. The Girl Guides added bags of candies and the Waterdown Lions donated candy canes and Christmas cake for every hamper.

The remainder of food will line the shelves of the Food Bank and its trailer at the Carlisle United Church until distributed to the less fortunate throughout the year. While the bulk of the food goes to Flamborough residents, there are rare occasions when surplus supplies, such as pasta and baby food, are given to Wesley Urban Ministries or the Good Shepherd Centre in Hamilton, rather than let them exceed their expiry dates and spoil on the shelves.

The Food Bank has been provided with free space at the Carlisle church for the past 13 years.

Eight years ago, a trailer was added to provide more space to store donated items. Bosma admits that the facility is "pretty stretched" for space and that a new headquarters, in or around Waterdown, is something that needs consideration in the near future.

"I should start looking in January," she said, but added in the same breath, "There isn't really a facility that would hold us" that immediately comes to mind.