Full Hearts and Food Hampers

C5 delivers more than 400 food hampers to families in need thanks to $10,000 Edmonton Community Foundation grant.

Suzette Mercier is no stranger to the hardships that COVID-19 is causing for families.

Mercier, a mother of two and expecting another, has worried that she wouldn’t be able to provide nourishing meals for her family since the pandemic started. Limited grocery store hours, increased prices, and reduced or lost  income make it hard for families to provide the necessities.

“I was starting to stress a little bit,”  Mercier said. “Trying to balance grocery shopping with my daughter’s schooling and my other half at work just is not feasible.”

The C5 North East Hub recognized a need for extra help in the community due to the pandemic. C5 is a collaboration between five Edmonton agencies: Edmonton Mennonite Centre for Newcomers, Terra Centre for Teen Parents, Norwood Child and Parent Link Centre, Boyle Street Community Services, Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, and SAGE Seniors Association. Together, they run programs for families with the goal of creating a space where families can connect, find support, and promote overall social wellbeing.

When COVID-19 forced them to close their doors, they quickly adapted to serving their community in new ways, including online programming and delivering essential  items to families’ doorsteps.

“One of the things that we quickly discovered is that our families didn’t have food,” said Corinne Saad, Director of C5. “We were talking to families who literally had nothing in the fridge.”

 

C5 Northeast Hub started a food hamper delivery program with a grant of $10,000 from Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF). Each hamper contains fresh produce, vegetables, fruit, and other pantry necessities.

“Right now, when so many people have lost work, assistance with basic needs has become much more crucial,” said Craig Stumpf-Allen, ECF’s Director of Grants and Community Engagement. “We also know that many low-income people have to deal with other access issues, such as taking public transit, reduced mobility, or childcare. Delivery of food to people in their homes, therefore, has helped many low-income Edmontonians remain safe.”

Thanks to generous donations and support from the community, C5 has delivered more than 400 hampers to families in need.

“ECF is an extraordinary resource for our community and a genuine partner in the work that we do, and we really appreciate that,”  Saad said.

With food being delivered to their doorsteps, Mercier and other families have one less thing to worry about during these trying times.

“I don’t want to say that there won’t be food in the house because there’ll always be something in the house but knowing that I can count on the food hampers has been a big stress relief,”  said Mercier.