Non profit sector proves to be both nimble and innovative in an uncertain environment: Food Bank ensures people have what they need

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

March 26th, 2020



The not for profit sector in Burlington has shown that it can be nimble and innovative when the need is evident.

The Compassion Society, located in Aldershot had to close their doors due to COVID-19 issues.

Food Bank - Robin

Robin Bailey, Executive Director, Burlington Food Bank

The Burlington Food Bank found that the demands being made on their services were increasing at a time when their normal sources of food were not as available.

With COVID-19 something that had to be dealt with – the Food Bank changed the way they delivered food. Instead of people coming in for food – the Food Bank created a group of volunteers who would drive the food from the Food Bank to the needy household.

With the closure of the Compassion Society St. Matthews United Church jumped into the breach and set up a food collection service open every Monday and Wednesday from noon to 3:00 pm.

At the end of those two days the St Matthews volunteers took the food to the Food Bank.


Lisa Lunski at Wellington Square United Church

Lisa Lunski, who runs the helping side at Wellington Square United Church, brought up a concern. Is the food being dropped off at St Matthews secure?

“People drop off their non-perishable food at St. Matthews’s driveway between 12 and 3pm on Mondays & Wednesdays. After 3pm the transportation volunteers one at a time put the food in their vehicles and take it directly to the Burlington Food Bank who keeps it separate in their facility for 2 weeks before using it in their food hampers.

They do not want the possible contamination of the public coming to drop off food any longer. They are concentrating on making up and delivering the food hampers to people who have contacted them. Their drivers leave the boxes at the recipient’s door and then from their car, call them to tell them it is there.

Connie Price assured The Wellington Square United Church people that the food wasn’t compromised in anyway.

Domenique W Food Bank

Dominique Wildeboer getting ready to show how the food hampers are put together at the Food Bank

Burlington Food Bank volunteer Dominique Wildeboer demonstrates the assembly of  hamper baskets for non perishable items. Currently these 30-40 lb baskets get delivered to family doors by our volunteers.

St Matthews flyerThey also include some special order items as needed and communicated by the family. Each family or individual gets all of these items. Once the boxes are packed they then include the fresh produce portion.

In video updates the Food Bank does every couple of days Wildeboer demonstrates a family donation assembly and Robin Bailey shows the fresh produce portion.

What we were seeing is four different non-profit organizations working together and changing as quickly as necessary to ensure they didn’t become part of the problem and at the same time ensuring that people who were food insecure were fed.


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