Providing food for her family wasn’t always easy for Pamela MacKeigan. As the single, unemployed mother of four, finding someone to watch her kids while she braved long lineups at the food bank was difficult.
“It got really hard at times. Sometimes, I felt embarrassed asking for help. I’d often wonder whether I could last a few more days without food,” she remembers.
Thanks to your generous support, Pam found a United Way–supported agency’s innovative food-sharing program, and the healthy staples she needed to feed her family. Every two weeks, tenants from her community-housing building distribute food to other tenants in the familiar setting of their apartment’s common room.
“It’s about providing food to people who need it most,” says Pam. “But it’s about dignity, too. Residents feel more comfortable accepting help when it’s from someone they know.”
The program has become a lifeline for residents: A trusted place for families living on a low income to find much-needed supplies, like rice, potatoes and fresh vegetables. An opportunity for neighbours—young and old—to exchange food and conversation. A dignified way to give and receive food that preserves the self-esteem of everyone involved.
As for Pam? Despite recently moving, she still makes the trip to her old apartment to serve up food—and friendship—to residents in need. “These people are like family to me,” she says. “I can tell you what apartment they live in, when their birthdays are and how many children they have. We’re a real community.”
Thanks to your generous donation, United Way supports Canadians, like Pam, in moving from poverty to possibility.