About Brant United Way

Supporting Foodbanks › Emily's Story

From poverty to possibility.

Change starts in our community when we reach out and give a hand up to those in need. Programs supported by Brant United Way offer assistance when needed, address root causes and find preventative solutions to those dealing with economic challenges. Together, we continue to help move people from poverty to possibility.

For many children, the summer months are a time that is yearned for from the very first day of school. After a long year in class, kids are finally free to take a break from homework, exams, and teachers' rules, so that they can play outside with friends, take field trips through camps, or do absolutely nothing at all. But for some kids, summer is a time marked with great uncertainty as to where they might get their next meal from. They may have depended on free or reduced-priced meals during the school year, which are now not offered during the summer.

Emily and her little sister were facing the same uncertainty. With their mom being a single parent, and working at a local coffee shop 12 hours a day 6 days a week to make ends meet. Being at home during the day meant that Emily and her sister would have to fend for themselves. Grocery money seemed unable to stretch out far enough when the kids were home from school, and by the end of the week, the fridge was empty.

At first, Emily's mom thought the girls were just eating because they were bored, and had lectured them several times on the need to save money and go easy on the groceries. To keep from getting in trouble, the kids started inviting themselves to their friends and neighbours for lunch. When mom eventually found out what was happening, she was mortified and ashamed. Thankfully, a friend talked to her about going to the food bank to supplement her groceries so that the grocery money would last longer.

The family started going to the food bank once a month to help ensure that food was always available for the girls at home, and Emily's mom was able to reduce her work shifts from 6 days a week to 5, in order to spend more time with the kids while they were at home in the summer months. They started volunteering at the food bank together to help give back to the community that had helped them get through a difficult time.

Brant United Way is proud to have made a difference in Emily and her family's life. We continue to invest in people throughout our community to strengthen their individual capacity and that of Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations of the Grand River.

Change starts here.
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