10 Hearts / July

Celebrating Kitestring’s 10th Anniversary

July / John Smith

John Smith, Full Stack Developer, 2 Years

Give a brief overview of the project/initiative you chose.

I chose the organization Hamilton Food Share, specifically to help them with some internal videos.

Why did you choose your project?

I feel that everyone deserves the right to a healthy and nutritious meal. It’s difficult to do much day-to-day if you don’t have the right fuel to get started and sustain you. Hamilton Food Share approaches food security issues by running a warehouse to efficiently collect and distribute food donations across every food bank service in the city.

What would people be surprised to learn about your initiative?

I think when most people think “Food Bank,” they still picture cans of food. While lots of good staples do come in cans, Hamilton Food Share has a policy that 50% of the food accepted into their warehouse must be fresh or frozen. They have a walk-in cold storage fridge and freezer, as well as a refrigerated truck that allows them to move fresh produce around the city quickly to those in need.

What did you learn by having this be your part of the 10 Hearts Celebration?

How great the need is for food in this city, and especially for children. 39% of food bank users in 2016 were children (that’s more than 4900 children). That’s a difficult and saddening number of hungry kids and families to visualize.

What have you learned most about your community in the 10 years Kitestring has been open?

It’s inspiring to see just how many people are out there donating their time and talents for the betterment of our community.

What have you learned about yourself while being part of Kitestring?

How great it feels to take on different initiatives as a work-group. I recommend, to any other workplace, that you take on a challenge collectively that gives back to your community.

Final thoughts?

As a last thought, and an educational point, I think it’s important to let people know that while donating canned/non-perishable products is always an option, that most community food centres have much more power towards their cause with financial donations. With greater buying power by purchasing in bulk, and receiving discounts (as well as donations) from large producers and stores. In the case of Hamilton Food Share, it’s a 5x amplified benefit, meaning that a $50 donation can provide $250 worth of food to those in need.


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