Rotary Club donation helps continue integral food security program

Families in need of healthy, satisfying meals in the Kingston area will continue to receive much-needed groceries and produce, thanks to the support of the local Rotary Clubs.

(L to R) Anica Gilbert, a student volunteer from Queen’s University, Brenda Moore, Chair of the Food Sharing Project, Allan Dunlop, Secretary of the Rotary Club of Kingston, and Elsabé Falkson, President of the Rotary Club of Kingston, were all smiles as the Rotary Club presented a donation to the program. Rotary, The Food Sharing Project, and Lionhearts Inc. have partnered on the ‘Children’s Weekend Wellness’ program. Photo by Emily Elliott.

On Wednesday, May 4, 2022, Lionhearts Inc. was presented with a $1,000 cheque for the ‘Children’s Weekend Wellness’ program.

Elsabé Faulkson, president of the Rotary Club of Kingston, presented Monika Cook of Lionhearts Inc. with a donation for the ‘Children’s Weekend Wellness’ program. The program is a collaboration between Lionhearts Inc., The Food Sharing Project, and the Rotary Club of Kingston to deliver food boxes to families twice a month. Their goal is to help families through the weekend when food support, which students can access at school through the Food Sharing Project, is not available.

The donation comes from the Rotary Club of Kingston with matched funds from the local Rotary District.

With the help of approximately 50 volunteers, 230 families are currently receiving food boxes on the first and third Thursdays of each month.  

An example of just some of the food staples delivered to families in need through the ‘Children’s Weekend Wellness’ program. Photo by Emily Elliott.

Brenda Moore, Chair of the Food Sharing Project, says that there is a need for this program, as “food insecurity has skyrocketed during the pandemic.”

The ‘Children’s Weekend Wellness’ program adjusted at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to accommodate families who were not able to access its services due to school closures during the lockdowns. The Rotary Club of Kingston volunteered to help deliver food boxes to the homes of families in need throughout Kingston. The delivery service allowed families who do not have access to transportation to receive food boxes, as well.

Cook emphasizes that the program ensures that any family in the Kingston area that needs a food box will be delivered one. “Quite often, the people who are located rurally just don’t have as much support as others,” she says.

There has been a positive response from families receiving food boxes who are appreciative of the added support.

“It means so much to families that are trying to feed their families healthy food, and they’re trying so hard to make ends meet, and they have so many pressures on them,” says Moore.

The donation will be put to good use, as Moore acknowledges the inflation of prices within the food market. She also adds that this project would not be successful without the combined support of Lionhearts Inc., the Food Sharing Project, and the Rotary Club of Kingston.

“As food providers, we have to work together, as we are so much stronger when we are working together.”

Cook also expressed her gratitude for the United Way of KFL&A, which Lionhearts Inc. also received grant funding from.

And proving that work in food security systems locally is never done, after the cheque presentation, those with the Rotary Club of Kingston and The Food Sharing Project – along with volunteers from Queen’s and the larger Kingston community – got down to business. Cardboard boxes, arranged in an assembly line, were quickly filled with quality, healthy items for local families by the volunteers in the now-bustling, recently opened Kingston Food Redistribution Warehouse.

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