Thanksgiving is a time of family, celebration and sharing gratitude. And for the 1,496 residents of Port Colborne, Wainfleet and South Niagara who currently rely on the food bank and meal services of the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre (ROFC), people in need will share in the celebration of gratitude this Thanksgiving thanks to the amazing outpouring of community and corporate support Port Cares and the Reach Out Food Centre receives.
“We are truly blessed to have such a compassionate and giving community. We receive support from the young children who collect food donations at their daycares and schools to small businesses and major corporations providing food, services and financial gifts. Port Cares relies on all of this kindness to run the Reach Out Centre including the Food bank, community meals and intervention programs,” explains Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director.
While the need to help is daunting, the support is overwhelming Clark Lafleur explains. She notes that throughout the year and especially at festive holiday times like Thanksgiving and Christmas Port Cares and its Reach Out Centre receives an outpouring of support. “We are truly blessed to without even asking have the individuals and companies like the Leon Family and Leon’s Furniture Limited step forward to help. The Leon family through Leon’s Furniture Limited provided a substantial gift to Port Cares to assist the work we do for young children at the centre. They shared with us that they wanted to recognize their gratitude by assisting the less fortunate by sharing compassion, care and comfort to those who need it most. Their gift is directly supporting the food bank and meal program at the Reach Out Centre.”
Approximately 120 to 140 people are anticipated to attend the Thanksgiving Dinner Meal at the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre this Thursday, October 5th with the Port Colborne Fire Department hosting by supplying turkeys, and helping to prepare and serve alongside community volunteers and client helpers.
Not all of the people in our community who require food assistance participate in the ROFC meal program. Many more will receive food support through the ROFC food bank.
“Our clients are truly appreciative of the compassion and support they receive not only at Thanksgiving but year round. They do their best to give back and share their gratitude as best they can when their personal situations improve. This is what Port Cares is truly about – help, hope and opportunity.”
QUICK FACTS :
- More than a third of the people reliant on the ROFC food bank are children.
- Typically 50 adults and children attend the lunch program on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Reach Out Food Centre (ROFC) at 61 Nickel Street, Port Colborne.
- Approximately 100 individuals attend the weekly dinner on Thursday evenings at the ROFC.
- Lunch kits with supplies to make five nutritious lunches are provided to families with school age children through the Reach Out Centre food bank
- On average 17,000 to 20,000 pounds of food is distributed monthly through the ROFC food bank.
- Port Cares Reach Out Centre relies on donations, grants and fundraising to provide services and assistance to people living in poverty.
At any given time there could be as many as 100 individuals including families with children who are homeless in our community. They are the families who cannot find affordable housing, and who are struggling with unemployment and poverty. They are the hidden homeless, such as the young person sitting next to your child in school who has been sleeping on someone’s floor or outdoors because they are not safe at home. Or it could be an individual dealing with addiction or mental illness.
Homelessness has many faces. Let us help you or someone you know. At Port Cares we have dedicated staff that will assist individuals facing homelessness and we currently have access to 24 transitional housing units. Together with other community agencies we provide support so individuals can move forward at their own pace and find a place to call home.
Here is a success story we would like to share: In 2016 our Housing Coordinator Dave advocated for a blind man so he could to remain in the housing program after his apartment flooded numerous times. “We found him temporary lodging in a motel, negotiated with past and present landlords and established income sources for new apartment costs for moving and last months’ rent. Imagine being blind and on a limited income when everything starts to go wrong. Think about the trust you have to put in someone who states that it will take time when you have just got out of bed in the morning and are standing in water. This individual thanks us almost every day for his safe affordable apartment that he moved into last spring.”
How can you help? Please consider attending our upcoming Pancake Brunch at our Reach Out Centre on Feb. 7 where we hope to raise funds for our Client Services and Housing initiatives. Thank You.
The Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) released a new report on November 28th , revealing that over 335,000 individuals — more than one third children — are turning to food banks each month. Despite improvements in the economy, food bank use remains seven per cent higher than pre-recession numbers, and staggering hydro prices and lack of full time employment are contributing to increased hunger in Ontario.Statistics from Port Cares were included in this report.
More than 1,100 individuals are currently registered at the Reach Out Centre food bank with approximately 500 to 700 of these people receiving service every month. Approximately one third of the people served every month at the food bank are children under the age of 18.
“We are fortunate because of the care and compassion and giving spirit of our citizens. Port Cares and the Reach Out Centre have been able to provide wholesome and nutritious food because of the generosity of local residents, organizations and businesses who continue to donate to those less fortunate.”
“People in our community are experiencing the same economic pressures as those in other areas of Ontario when it comes to increasing costs for hydroelectricity, transportation and housing.
And increasingly in the colder months, it becomes a very real struggle to put these expenses ahead of feeding themselves and their families,” said Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director of Port Cares.
To donate to our food bank, volunteer or find out how you can help those in need in our community please contact Karin at 905-834-3629 ext.245.
The Great Canadian Giving Challenge is here! For the entire month of June, every $1 you donate to us through www.givingchallenge.ca qualifies us to win $10,000! The more you give, the more chances for us to raise funds for our Reach Out Food Centre and Food Bank! Thank you for your support.
Right now here in the community of Port Colborne there are families and individuals who must rely on the Port Cares Food Bank to be able to feed themselves and the ones they love.
In 2015 we served an average of 615 individuals each month and 218 were children!
Did you know that NO food bank in Canada receives any kind of support from ANY type of government? Food Banks were created by and are run by community groups, agencies and citizens who care deeply about the poverty facing many of our fellow community members.
How can you help? Please consider donating your time as a Volunteer or Sponsor a meal at our Food Bank and Reach out Centre at 61 Nickel Street. We also gratefully accept donations of fresh food and non perishable items in addition to monetary donations.
To learn more please contact our Reach Out Centre at 905-835-1914 or email us at email@example.com
We are proud to announce that we have been supporting Community members with access to free services to enhance and improve their lives for over 30 years.
In celebration we will be featuring a different service available at Port Cares on a regular basis so you can learn more about our programs and services and see if we can be of assistance to you or someone you know. It is also a great way for us to look back at how far we have journeyed as a community agency and thank everyone who has been involved with Port Cares for their outstanding dedication and contributions.
April 10-16 is National Volunteer Week. Volunteers are the roots of strong communities. Just like roots are essential for trees to bloom, volunteers are essential for communities to boom. At Port Cares, we are very fortunate to have several dedicated, wonderful and caring volunteers. Please join us in celebrating these amazing individuals! If you are interested in Volunteering please contact Shelby Hemingway at firstname.lastname@example.org
Port Cares began in 1986 and we have been working hard to support families and individuals in need in Port Colborne and surrounding communities. We offer many services to families at the Reach out Centre and at 92 Charlotte Street, which includes our Ontario Early Years Centre. Come on out and explore!
As part of our celebrations this year we will be featuring one of our many programs each month on our Website, Facebook, Twitter and in the Media and we invite you to explore the many way we can assist you this year.
A huge thank you to our Sponsors, Donors, Volunteers and Guests who attended the 2015 Masquerade Dinner and Auction Gala on November 13th.
You helped us to raise close to $50,000 for vital programs here at Port Cares.
Your generosity will assist us to continue to offer food and crisis and housing support to individuals and families in need in the year to come.
Port Cares exists to assist those in need regardless of their circumstances and everyone is welcome and on behalf of all of the clients we serve we thank you for your generosity and continued support.