Give the Gift of Health, Hope and Community
Over the past year we’ve seen the power of good food firsthand at our community food centre. We’ve watched it improve health, build new skills, increase confidence and create a strong sense of belonging for many living in the Inkster area.
If you talk to Marsha, she will tell you she has never been happier in her life since coming through our doors. Every Thursday Marsha arrives for her volunteer shift at our weekly fruit and veggie market with her two youngest daughters in tow. The girls have a snack while she helps unload boxes and set up tables with fresh, inexpensive produce. Marsha likes the work, tallying prices and purchases on a pad of paper, talking with the regulars who come by for the good deals and convenience.
But she wasn’t always this way.
“For the longest time, I just hid myself in my house,” explains Marsha. “I’m on disability welfare and dealing with two children who have disabilities. I have anxiety and sometimes I get in a group and my heart just beats so fast, I can hardly breathe.”
She also struggles to trust people after surviving two bad relationships with the fathers of her children and having them apprehended by Child and Family Services for a time. Marsha knew what that meant, as she too was a child of the system. Remembering the horrendous trauma she endured in foster care herself, she knew she had to get them back as soon as she could. And she did.
“I’ve never had it easy,” Marsha recalls. “I’ve always had to fight for everything I have, and I still have to, even to this day.”
When her social assistance worker encouraged her to consider volunteering at NorWest, Marsha worked up the courage to give it a try. She began at the market, then added a shift on Fridays as a server at the drop-in lunch.
“I’ve learned different ways of cooking and I’m trying to eat better. But volunteering is what makes me feel really good about myself,” she says. “I’m not just helping myself, I’m helping other people. Serving them. I used to avoid big groups. But going to NorWest has helped me with my anxiety quite a bit.”
The centre also offers Marsha a welcome reprieve from life as a single mom of three. Her youngest is deaf and her middle daughter struggles with a cognitive delay. Marsha says she can’t even think about looking for a job right now because she has to be available when the school calls and she needs to step in.
“It gets lonely being home with kids all the time. Especially kids who fight all day!” she laughs. “If it wasn’t for NorWest I’d be hibernating, staying away from the world. But people are so open and friendly there. I just feel better. I think it’s because I know I’m in a safe place.”
And many people like Marsha would agree—our community food centre reduces isolation and increases connections to other people, and to a variety of other critical supports. In fact, 99% of people we surveyed last year felt they belonged to a community at our food centre.
We all deserve an opportunity to feel a part of a community, and hope we can count on your generosity this time of year. Your donation of $50 or even $100 will go a long way to build health, hope, and community in Inkster!
How you can donate
Call 204-391-1289 between 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday-Friday to make a donation over the phone.
Drop off a donation/send a cheque by mail:
Visit us at the NorWest Co-op Community Food Centre, located at 103-61 Tyndall Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R2X 2T4.
Click here to donate online by credit card.
Vehicle Donations: Donate a car, truck, RV boat or other vehicle
Other Important Information:
Our Charitable Registration Number: 107787087 RR0001
NorWest Co-op accepts the following forms of donation:
- Credit Card
- In-Kind Donations
Get in touch:
Call us at 204-391-1289. We’d love to hear from you!