The Six Nations Food Bank, which offers supplementary food items, cleaning products and personal hygiene items to those in need, has commenced their “Drive for 5” fundraising initiative. Ordinarily, Food Bank Coordinator Clint Doolittle strives to raise about $1700 a month in order to adequately supply local on-reserve residents with this necessary service. This is in addition to money raised through other fundraising measures. But with the holiday season upon us, and a marked increase in the number of people accessing services at the food bank, Doolittle has extended his fundraising goal to $5000 in monetary donations commencing the month of December. He encourages people to extend a helping hand by donating personally or arranging a fundraising initiative through your place of employment.
The Six Nations Food Bank is unique from other food banks in many ways. One policy is to reduce the shame users typically feel when accessing this type of service. That underlying principle is evident in not only in the administrative policies, such as the $5.00 user fee that is intended to let people know that they are receiving a subsidy rather than a handout. Also, walking into the food bank, you are greeted by people who do not judge and who are more than happy to help you get the food subsidy your family needs. Doolittle expressed genuine care and concern for the people that access his services, even acknowledging those clients that have passed on and the sorrow the volunteers and staff felt at the passing of some of their clients over the years.
The Six Nations Food Bank also accepts donations from hunters, so it is not uncommon to receive deer meat in your allocation. The food bank has, within its mandate, an acknowledgement that they will work to ensure that people receive food that will encourage healthy eating habits, so the return to eating food acquired from the land is a natural step in keeping true to that vision.
To donate, please contact Coordinator Clint Doolittle at 519-771-0025. The location of the food bank is 1741 Fourth Line Road, Ohsweken, across from the car wash. If your family is in need of this service, you will need to bring in a status card for each household member, $5 to pay the administrative fee, and it is suggested that people bring in their own bags. Food distribution days are on each Thursday, with the exception this month being the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s. For those weeks, food will be distributed Tuesday, December 23rd and Tuesday, December 30th.