Annual Reports

PARTNERSHIP WEST FOOD BANK

2016 Burlington Food Bank,
Annual Report To The Community -March 30 2017

Entering our 27th year, the Burlington Food Bank continues to grow, feeding the hungry in our city. Back in 1991, when the food bank was first established, it was considered a short-term solution to meet the needs of a small group of people in the community. That was not the case.

In 1997 we moved to our present location on Plains Road. Over the last few years we have had to expand the size of our facility to accommodate the growing needs of the community and the generosity of our donors. Last year, once again, our facility was expanded to create a proper ‘store front’ for clients, separating it from our warehouse.

26 years has now past and the issue of ‘food insecurity’ has become a growing concern. Visits to the food bank have increased and the demographics have changed in the following ways:

  • Many of our city’s working poor visit our food bank on a regular basis
  • The number of single male clients, on disability, has increased 50%
  • More Senior citizens; mainly female now visit us
  • Refugee families are now using our services
  • And, Overall visits to the food bank are up 7%, this year

In 2016, we provided food to over 8,500 people. This resulted in the distribution of over $880,000 worth of food.

We have continued to work with a group of very dedicated partners by contributing financially and with food donations, to their weekly community meals, and food cupboards. Through these partnerships we were able to help facilitate the delivery of over 300,000 meals in Burlington.

In January 2016 our financial situation became worrisome. The board of directors, decided to take on an annual fundraising initiative to help meet the financial obligations throughout the year. And so, the first annual “Ride to Provide”, a charity-cycling event, was created. We partnered with Food for Life and celebrated an overwhelming success, bringing in over $26,000 for the Burlington Food Bank.

Our Resources

Burlington is a generous city when it comes to food donations. Our largest donor is the Burlington Eagles Hockey Association, whose annual Fall food drive called, “The Gift of Giving Back”, brought in 489,000 pounds of food this year. We are one of the recipients of these young people’s hard work and dedication. We are most appreciative.

Both Elementary and Secondary schools continue to hold food drives on our behalf, and it is the Secondary students who sort and pack these donations for us at the busiest times of the year.

Tim Horton’s continued support, through their “Smile Cookie Campaign” in 2016, resulted in a donation of $57,273. This money impacts our day-to-day operations and allows us to provide “Snack Packs” to all school aged children, as well as fresh food items to our clients throughout the year.

Burlington Oldtimers Hockey Club and the Bowser Babes continue their 26th year commitment to the Food Bank with food and a cash donation of over $13,000.

Burlington Oldtimers Slo-Pitch League has renewed their support of us again this year.

Donations are important. Whether it’s the Orchard Pumpkin Food Drive, the Burloak Community Food Drive, the 100 WOMEN WHO CARE, or the youngster who set up his own Lemonade stand and donated the proceeds to the food bank; they have all made a difference.

Our volunteer base is undoubtedly our greatest asset. They wear many hats, stepping up when necessary, and together have donated 6,000+ hours over the past year. They do make a difference and the Food Bank could not function without their energy, dedication and commitment.

Moving Forward

As we move forward to help those in need, it is important that we continue our collaborative efforts with agencies in Burlington, to address the issue of food insecurity. We must also identify gaps in our program that prevent access to our food bank. Our public face and visibility within the community needs to be strengthened, as many people still don’t even know who we are or what we do. And lastly, being more aggressive in searching out revenue sources, including grants that may be available to us, is a must.

We thank all those who have helped our community grow and we welcome those who would like to work along with us to make sure no one goes hungry in our City of Burlington.

Mary Gowan,
Acting Chair
Burlington Food Bank