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Three tenants have shared their stories about how a community pantry stocked by local grocery stores has impacted their lives. Our residents’ experiences and perspectives shed light on the pantry’s impact on our community, highlighting the importance of generosity and unity.

The pantry fosters a vibrant community where neighbors bond, share, and uplift each other. It’s a sanctuary, offering security and joy. People eagerly await pantry days not just for food, but for connection and camaraderie.

“We’re grateful for the sense of community that the pantry creates, where neighbors come together, share experiences, and support one another. The pantry serves as a safe space for many and offers a sense of security and happiness knowing that they’re cared for. Many of the people here eagerly anticipate pantry days, not just for the food but for the chance to connect with neighbors, make plans, and gather in a welcoming environment. Here, people feel comfortable sharing personal information and experiences, knowing they won’t be judged. It’s a place where burdens are lifted, and people can find direction and support.”

Tenant
Laura Stalman

For Laura, the pantry arrived amid personal turmoil. Engaging in simple activities like card games with neighbours and coloring brought solace, creating connections within the community during tough times.

“Our pantry serves the tenants, most of whom are on disability or social assistance-based income. The feedback from tenants has been great, and we truly appreciate it. Beyond just providing food, we’re fostering community by encouraging chats among visitors. The donations we receive have saved hundreds of dollars for those in need and each day we’re open, we’re serving over 25 people.”

Tenant + Volunteer
Eric Holmgren

“Food is essential for our daily lives, providing not just sustenance but also energy for our emotions. Budgeting skills are crucial, and our pantry visitors can learn and develop them. We believe in relating to people on a personal level, connecting with our neighbors beyond just providing food. The work from volunteers is physical, involving tasks like delivery and pick-ups, sorting, cleaning, and organizing supplies. Despite the challenges, we take pride in our work, especially when people express their gratitude with a simple ‘thank you.

Tenant + Volunteer
Heather McConnachie

One of our long-time tenants, Heather McConnachie, has been part of our community for 3 and a half years, witnessing the positive impact of our efforts firsthand.

The pantry extends its reach to places like Karis, offering relief from financial pressure during inflation. Tenants express gratitude, finding dignity in solidarity. Staff witness the joy as tenants select items they couldn’t afford otherwise.

The main thing that we’re hearing from the tenants is they don’t have to buy groceries as much, which is so helpful during these high inflation times.  They also feel a sense of community when they come to the Common Room, as they are speaking to people they normally wouldn’t speak to and stay to mingle with one another. One tenant said “this place has restored my dignity, and I don’t feel like it’s a handout, I feel like everyone here is experiencing much of the same things and we are going through it together.”

From a Staff perspective, I love to see the tenants picking out things I know they wouldn’t normally purchase and the look on their faces when they walk away with a bag full of pantry items, it’s wonderful. Many have stopped by the Office to express their gratitude for the pantry, especially those on limited incomes.

Lenora Mosley
Kindred Manager

Join us in this mission, extending beyond food provision to building a resilient community. Your support through the More Than a Roof Foundation directly impacts initiatives like our pantry, transforming lives. Donate today at https://morethanaroof.foundation/.

PS. This is our first newsletter, we hope you enjoyed it! Please send comments and ideas to myself (Yvonne) or Lorne for future newsletters.

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100-1515 Charles Street
Vancouver, BC V5L 2T2

 

T: (604) 215-4648
E: foundation@morethanaroof.org