Working at Project SHARE has certainly taught me a few things. Having experienced a few hard times raising my family (layoffs, high interest rates on my mortgage), I was interested and excited about the opportunity to help others.

When I began working at Project SHARE, food banks were thought of as a temporary measure to deal with an economic downturn in the 1980’s. I have learned that change is inevitable and that none of us can rely on old patterns. Canada’s economy is not returning to the prosperity of my childhood, when our country’s standard of living was one of the highest in the world.

“People who use our services have told us they want to “give back” and they do!”

Many people have come in and out of my life in the past 25 years, with each teaching me many lessons that I carry with me today. In working at Project Share, I have learned that if I take the time to listen, each and every one of the people we see has a story that will bust any stereotypes and preconceptions I may have ever had.

I have learned that even though people don’t have enough money, they still experience joy in their lives. People who attend our cooking classes have taught me so much about other cultures and I have been treated to the delicious cuisines of Turkey, Morocco and Columbia!

I have learned that just because someone may not have enough money, it does not mean they aren’t generous. I have observed people figure out how to create a cashless economy by sharing rides and doing favours for one another. When people have little or no money they are creative about gift giving. I will always remember the delicious tomatoes one of our gardeners shared with me from her plot.

I am grateful for the many kindnesses people have shown. People who use our services have told us they want to “give back” and they do! They offer to clean our kitchen or stock our shelves or sort food. Many of our volunteers are people who receive help.

I am mostly grateful for my career choice. With governments and business leaders starting to move further towards improving equity and inclusion, I feel right now is the best time to be a food banker!

Submitted by The Project SHARE Food Bank Link opens a new window as a part of the 25 Years of Changing Lives Gallery.

Thank you to Hunger Action Month sponsor Cargill Canada!