This may be difficult to swallow, but right here in Kingston there are those who are unable to secure food, feed their families or make ends meet.  For over thirty years, the Partners in Mission Food Bankhas been waging war on hunger one day at a time.  And thanks to you, victory is within grasp.

Hunger.  Our common foe.

It’s likely a bit awkward or even uncomfortable to envision people in our neighborhoods, schools, and community who are struggling to put food on the table.  For many of us a sandwich or the simple act of having a meal is something that is kind of easy to take for granted.

According to the food bank’s June report, they served a total of 11,734 hampers of food to 6,549 people last year.   That’s roughly the equivalent of a small town’s entire population.  A whopping 35% of those people are under 18.

Time, and again we see reminders of those around the world who are struggling. And as Canadians our nation has always answered the call for humanitarian aid.  We help people.  It’s just something that collectively, we have always excelled at.  Whether it was peacekeeping missions, or simply coming together as a country and helping those in the face of great adversity.

And – that’s what this article is really about.  If there is one thing that has always brought human beings together, it has been the presence of a common enemy.  I can guarantee you that there is none more ruthless than hunger.

The light at the end of the tunnel

Despite the unfortunate undertones of this back story, Partners in Mission Food Bank has been consistently providing tonnes of food to our fellow Kingstonians over the past three decades.  To put things in perspective as far as volume goes; they collected 321,409 pounds or (145.7 TONNES) of food that was reclaimed from various sources including daily baked goods.

That’s a redonkulous amount of food – and only represents a portion of the total food collected in 2014.  If we were to associate a monetary figure to the total amount of food collected last year, it would somewhere in the ballpark of one million dollars worth of food delivered to people – thanks to the generosity of our local business community and fellow Kingstonians.

The cool part is that this portion of reclaimed of food was also diverted from landfills.  The not so cool part is that all that accumulative weight over time, combined with the insane amount of kilometers of travel required to deliver said food each year – has taken a severe toll one of the food banks vehicles.

Logistics is an important aspect of organizing a relief effort of this magnitude.  Without reliable transportation, their staff and volunteers will have significant difficulty getting their precious cargo to those who need it most.

Luckily, my friends and colleagues at Spark Production House and Enactus SLC have joined their collective genius with sheer determination of the Food Bank and launched an innovative Indiegogocampaign entitled #SteerItUpYGK.

Their goal:  raise sufficient funds to replace the food bank’s antiquated van with a brand new one.  For full details on the campaign – check out the video below.  While you’re at it, share the living heck out it.

Enter, the CareVan

Thanks in large part to the folks at Kingston Dodge the campaign got off to an incredible launch. The dealership stepped up to the plate as a platinum sponsor, offering the new van at an amazing discount – and tossing in a jaw-dropping $10,000 donation to help kick things off.

If you make a mere $25 donation to the crowdfunding campaign, you can have your name emblemized upon the van’s paint job and other cool perks for contributing.  This slick 2015 Ram Promaster will allow the Food Bank to eliminate a huge portion of maintenance costs, reduce fuel consumption and deliver even more food to our neighbours and fellow Kingston residents.

Get Involved

In addition to donating to this paramount cause, I’ll also encourage you to get involved with the Partners in Mission Food Bank in any way you can.  Give up some non-perishable food items, or even donate your time as a volunteer.  This is without a doubt an organization providing a vital service to our community.

Engage with the Food Bank on Twitter or Facebook and help spread their message.  And once you’re done making your generous donation to #SteerItUp, encourage your friends and family also get on board.

Imagine us all rising up as one city – businesses, individuals and collectively helping those in need.  Sounds pretty awesome right?  Get to it!

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