Karina, Rafael and Rafaele

In November 2019, Karina shared her story with us. Karina and her husband moved to Canada from Brazil so that her husband could go to school while she worked. Shortly after they arrived in Canada, Karina’s mother was diagnosed with cancer; this has been hard on the entire family, as you can imagine. Karina has had to reduce her work hours in order to care for her Mum at home. At the same time, the couple gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Rafaele. There are many stresses that come alongside the joy of a new baby, and for Karina one of those was that Rafaele had difficulty breastfeeding and needed special baby formula as a result.

Karina and her family turned to the Food Bank to help them through this difficult time in their lives.

“Before I sleep I always say, thank you for everyone that speaks with me during the day. Thank you for the sunshine, thanks for the rainy days. Because the rain brings the flowers and the nurse took the time to talk to me and tell me about the Food Bank.”

In January 2020, Karina walked up to one of our staff excitedly, and said, “You won’t believe it – this is the last time you will see me here! My husband and I both got a job!” These moments that our clients share with us are what inspire us in the work we do. Then, in April 2020 when the pandemic was in its first wave, we saw Karina again. “We both lost our jobs,” Karina said. “I’ve been looking for a job but everything is closed so this is why we returned to the Food Bank.”

The pandemic has affected so many working individuals and families. 80% of new Food Bank clients cite COVID-19 as the reason they turn to us. We are here for as long as people need our help.

To provide more food support during this critical period, we opened our Winston St. location to distribute food during our warehouse inventory week for a few months. We have also increased the amount of food our clients take home from the GVFB, from 9 – 10lbs/ client/week in 2019 to 12 – 14lbs/client/week, with some weeks reaching 20lbs per client!

We are all proud of this increase, and we were able to achieve this only through the generosity of our donors. There are thousands of people like Karina who access our services each week – thank you for helping us support them when they need us the most.