Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Empty Bowls

Here is a sneak peak of the 55+ bowls that are up for auction at the Empty Bowls Gala at the Delta Hotel on November 10, 2009.

For more information about the Empty Bowls Gala, visit the Winnipeg Harvest Website.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Empty Bowls Ambassadors Luncheon

The media was invited to attend Wednesday's Empty Bowls Ambassadors Luncheon at the Winnipeg Harvest office. This luncheon was geared to provide an overview of the work that Winnipeg Harvest does, to provide more details about the Empty Bowls Gala being held on November 10th, and to invite them to be ambassadors on behalf of Winnipeg Harvest.

Barry McArton, co-chair of the Empty Bowls committee, presented information on Winnipeg Harvest and the Gala, while David Northcott and Lee Newton provided glimpses into the work Winnipeg Harvest does.

(Barry McArton, co-chair of the Empty Bowls committee)

(media guests)

(media guests)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Winnipeg Free Press Editorials

The following editorial was written by Winnipeg Harvest's Executive Coordinator, David Northcott, for the Winnipeg Free Press. It appeared in last Saturday's edition of the Winnipeg Free Press.

More than ever, Winnipeg Harvest needs your support. We want to give those we share food with a hand up. Never has the need been greater.

Between September of 2008 and September of 2009, the increase in the number of kids, ages 6-18, that Winnipeg Harvest shares food with is up, by nearly 24%, from 12,000 to 15,000. The total number of people Winnipeg Harvest shares food with jumped by 21% over that same period, to over 39,000.

There are three additional areas where we experienced similar increases that concern us; the number of EI recipients, the number of people with no income and the number of working poor who rely on Winnipeg Harvest to make ends meet all increased over the same one year period.

The decline in the economy has brought an increased demand for the service Winnipeg Harvest provides. As much as anyone, we are hopeful of a recovery in both the Canadian and Global economy. More living wage jobs and a strengthening of our social safety net are both assets for all Canadians.

The Empty Bowls program is an initiative designed to raise funds to address the need. On November 10, 2009, Winnipeg Harvest is hosting the Empty Bowls Celebrity Auction at the Delta Winnipeg. Our message of feeding the hungry continues. You can make an incredible difference by making a donation to the Empty Bowls event. Did you know that for every $20.00 donated, Harvest can move $400.00 worth of food? Will you help us make a difference? 

Make a donation today to the Empty Bowls event. Please call 982-FOOD or donate online at

David Northcott is Executive Coordinator of Winnipeg Harvest.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Winnipeg Free Press Editorials

This editorial was written by Pat Isaak for Winnipeg Harvest, it appeared in last Friday's edition of the Winnipeg Free Press.

Each day, Manitoba teachers witness the effects of students coming to school hungry. We know there is a direct relationship between healthy nutrition and the academic achievement of our students. Adequate food improves a child’s ability to comprehend, grow and develop.  A child who is hungry has difficulty concentrating, is more easily distracted and what may seem to be a behavioral problem may be a reaction to not having breakfast before coming to school. Unfortunately, thousands of students will show up to school hungry this morning.  

Winnipeg Harvest has been helping Manitoba’s schools for years by providing food to children who would otherwise go hungry. There are 27 school programs in place, with 23 schools on a waiting list.

The Manitoba Teachers’ Society and teachers in communities in every corner of this province work with Winnipeg Harvest to help students get the nutrition they need to do well in school. For many the meal they get at school may be their only meal of the day.  
On the flip side, teachers organize projects in schools such as food donations and drives. They and their students volunteer at Harvest and contribute to programs like Operation Donation and the Empty Bowls Program. Last year, with the involvement, support and commitment of Manitoba’s students and teachers, Winnipeg Harvest collected 55 tons of food for hungry families.   

By participating in these important initiatives, teachers are showing their students that by working together we can all make a difference.  
There have been over 50 Empty Bowls School Programs throughout the province that have contributed nearly $60,000 to help low-income families in Manitoba.
Make a donation today to the Empty Bowls event. Please call 982-FOOD or donate online at
Pat Isaak is the President of the Manitoba Teachers Society.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bring a Tin for the Bin

Winnipeg Harvest collected 1,019 pounds of food at Saturday's Bomber game. Thanks again Winnipeg Harvest fans!

Jewish Post Article

The article that our Social Media Coordinator wrote for The Jewish Post & News is now available to read in the Oct. 21 edition of the paper.

Visit to find out how you can pick up a copy of The Jewish Post & News to read the article about the Empty Bowls Gala.

Winnipeg Free Press Editorials

Cameron Cross wrote this editorial for Winnipeg Harvest, which appeared in last Thursday's edition of the Winnipeg Free Press.

The concept behind Empty Bowls is simple. Students create and design ceramic bowls. Students then invite the community for a simple meal of soup and bread. Students then sell their bowls to community members-all money raised goes directly to assist Winnipeg Harvest. Purchased bowls are then left empty at home as a reminder that there are many Empty Bowls in the world.

The initiative was first started in Michigan in 1995 by a teacher who wanted to make a difference.  It's classic. Art vs. Hunger.  I came back to Winnipeg motivated.  I emailed Winnipeg Harvest about the idea and we've been working together ever since.

Empty Bowls is a simple project that helps get young people thinking and doing something about the issue of hunger in their community.

Empty Bowls provides the vehicle for students of all ages to take ownership of a problem, and tackle it head on. Through Empty Bowls, and with the guidance of their teachers, students go on a journey of learning, social activism and raising money for hunger education and more specifically, for Winnipeg Harvest. 

Empty Bowls has now become a significant fundraiser for Winnipeg Harvest - through the schools initiatives as well as the Celebrity Bowl auction.  As much as we all like to see the thousands of dollars being raised for Winnipeg Harvest, the true strength of Empty Bowls lies in it's power to engage young people to think; take action and become empathetic members of our society. I believe young people are eager to find concrete ways of making a difference. 
Over 50 Empty Bowl School programs throughout the province have contributed nearly $60,000 to help families in Manitoba.

Make a donation today to the Empty Bowls event. Please call 982-FOOD or donate at
Cameron Cross is an Artist and a Visual Art Consultant for the Pembina Trails School Division

Friday, October 23, 2009

HMCS Winnipeg Flag Presentation

(Coxswain Dave Bliss, Flagmaker Fleurien Lizotte, Captain Rob Ferguson and crew of the HMCS Winnipeg)

Winnipeg Harvest took the time yesterday to recognize the HMCS Winnipeg and some of their crew members for their long standing support of us in our mission of distributing surplus food to Manitobans.

We have presented them with a flag and made them Volunteers of the Month. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule this week to volunteer at Winnipeg Harvest!

Congratulations and best wishes from all of us.

Bring a Tin for the Bin

We're (once again) reminding all Bomber fans who are attending tomorrow's game against the Montreal Alouettes to Bring a Tin for the Bin in support of Winnipeg Harvest. We collected over 1000 pounds of food from the last game, and we're hoping to collect even more tins after this game!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Record Year for Staples Tools for School Campaign

Staples Business Depot partnered with Winnipeg Harvest and the Winnipeg Goldeyes for the Staples Tools for School campaign which ran from July 19 - September 15. Winnipeg residents were encouraged to drop off school supplies at Staples Business Depot locations and Winnipeg Goldeyes games so that Winnipeg Harvest could distribute the supplies to students as they return to school.

This year proved to be a record one for Staples, as the Staples Tools for School campaign wrapped up yesterday afternoon. Staples is pleased to announce that $30,632 was raised and 2410 children were sent to school with new school supplies.

Winnipeg Harvest executive coordinator, David Northcott said, "Although we are in tough economic times, it is more critical than ever that kids move forward in their life journey standing on a solid foundation of a good education – 'Tools for School' helps us all get there.”

The retired teachers who volunteered their time to run the annual school supply drive said they know the importance of these tools in a child’s education. Without the proper tools, these children can find it difficult to complete the schoolwork that will shape their own success and the educational health of their community.

Winnipeg Harvest and the children send a huge thank you to everyone who supported the Tools for School drive this year. 
Sharon Kerdes, winner of the $1000 shopping spree, with excited Staples store managers

Sharon Kerdes, winner of the $1000 shopping spree receiving her gift card from Staples District Manager Michael Dutka.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Key Thoughts about Winnipeg Harvest

Our Social Media Coordinator wrote an article for the Winnipeg Jewish Post & News about the 4th Annual Empty Bowls Gala. Barry McArton and Louis Trepel, the two co-chairs of the event, pointed out some excellent facts about Winnipeg Harvest and about poverty in Winnipeg, and in Manitoba.

For example:
  • Winnipeg Harvest provides food to 320 food agencies in Manitoba. They supply food and supplies to many soup kitchens in Winnipeg, including Siloam Mission and Harbour Light.
  • Approximately 3000 people a month leave the services of Winnipeg Harvest. Most of these people are new immigrants to Canada and need a boost - such as a job (or job training) and food. They do not rely on Winnipeg Harvest on a day-to-day basis.
  • The majority of people who volunteer at Winnipeg Harvest are food recipients.
  • Food banks are everywhere in Winnipeg - they are in River Heights, Tuxedo, The Maples, and Southdale (to name a few areas of the city). They are not just located in the hard-hit areas.
Barry McArton said something key about Winnipeg Harvest:
"If I lost my job today, I would do anything to feed my kids tomorrow. Where would the community be without Winnipeg Harvest? Winnipeg Harvest is a key organization to a large part of the community. They ask for nothing. They receive no funding from the government or from the United Way. They ask for food. That's it."
The article will be published in the October 27 edition of the Winnipeg Jewish Post & News.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Singing for Supper

More information coming soon

Bring a Tin for the Bin Info

Winnipeg, you are amazing!!
After yesterday's Bomber game, we collected 1072 pounds of food.
Keep up the great donation work, and we'll see you next game on October 24.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Bring a Tin for the Bin

We just wanted to send out a quick message to remind you to bring a tin for the bin to tomorrow's game against the B.C. Lions.

After the last game, we were able to accumulate over 900 pounds of food. We're so happy everyone came out and supported Winnipeg Harvest at the game. Hopefully we'll be able to collect even more food this time.

We're keeping our fingers crossed for another win for the Blue Bombers!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sons of York Thank Winnipeg Harvest

Our Winnipeg Harvest Social Media Coordinator received this message from Jake Kennerd, bassist of the Sons of York:
"My brothers and I were more than pleased with how the night turned out. Those who attended got to see some great local live music - Quinzy and the Paps absolutely lit up the stage. All the bands made new fans and Winnipeg Harvest got their message out to a new and large audience. We were honored to be a part of Winnipeg Rocks for Harvest, and we hope they'll have us back next year."

(The Winnipeg Harvest crew with Winnipeg Rocks for Harvest's MC:Bubba B)

Donors in Thanksgiving spirit - Winnipeg Free Press

Share Your Thanks food drive covered by the Winnipeg Free Press:

Donors in Thanksgiving spirit - Winnipeg Free Press

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Share Your Thanks Food Sorting Pics

The Share Your Thanks event at Winnipeg Harvest was a huge success! Over 200 people came together to help sort food that will restock the shelves at Winnipeg Harvest. We are hoping to beat last year's number of 170,000 pounds of food. We'll let you know by the end of October!

In the meantime, here are some pics from Saturday:

(Truck drivers picked up the donations)

(People of all ages helped out)

(There was pie for everyone!)

(smiling volunteers)


(Sherri Walsh, Winnipeg Harvest Board President)

(Volunteers sorting donations)

Thanks again to all of Winnipeg Harvest's hard-working volunteers!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Winnipeg Harvest Quick Facts

  • Winnipeg Harvest provides emergency food assistance to over 40,000 people a month. This is nearly equivalent to the size of Brandon, Manitoba - Manitoba's second largest city.
  • Winnipeg Harvest distributes food to over 320 agencies across Manitoba. This includes: food banks, soup kitchens, daycares, drop-in centres, schools, etc.
  • 47% of people receiving food from Winnipeg Harvest are children.
  • In 2008, Winnipeg Harvest moved almost 10 million pounds of food throughout Manitoba.
  • 50% of Winnipeg Harvest volunteers are people who use food banks.
  • 33% of families experiencing hunger are dual wage-earner families. They are the working poor.
No one chooses to be poor, hungry, or in crisis.
Please donate to Winnipeg Harvest.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Hi Readers,

We apologize for the lack of posts over the weekend, however we would like to take the time to thank the media and all of our hard-working volunteers who came out and supported the annual Share Your Thanks food drive. We truly appreciate each person who found the time to donate, sort, and distribute food. Without the help of the people of Winnipeg, this wouldn't have been possible!

Everyone at Winnipeg Harvest wishes you a safe and happy Thanksgiving long weekend.

Photos and the stats for this year's Share Your Thanks food drive will be up shortly!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Winnipeg Rocks For Harvest

Don't forget about Winnipeg Rocks For Harvest!! Tonight (Saturday, Oct. 10) at the Park Theatre - 698 Osborne St. Doors open @ 8, Tickets are available at ticketmaster and at the door. Come down and listen to some great music by The Paps, Quinzy and Sons of York!

All proceeds will be donated to Winnipeg Harvest.

Share Your Thanks Fall Food Drive

The Winnipeg Free Press generously distributed 122,000 "Share Your Thanks" brown grocery bags last month to Winnipeg area homes so they could be filled with groceries for those Winnipeg Harvest shares food with.
Volunteers and staff will gather to help spread the generosity of Manitobans, by sorting the "Share your Thanks" bags.

The bags will help Winnipeg Harvest serve growing needs:
  • The number of students (aged 6-18) needing food bank assistance went up by nearly 24% over the last year. 
  • Winnipeg Harvest also is sharing food with more EI Recipients (an 84% increase), those with no income (a 24% increase) and the working poor (a 17% increase) than this time last year.
Overall, the number of people needing Winnipeg Harvest's services is up 21% from the same period one year ago. We need the public's help more than ever to help fight hunger in Manitoba.

We invite the public media to join us:
Saturday, October 10th at 10:30am, at the Winnipeg Harvest warehouse, 1085 Winnipeg Ave.

Turtle Lodge Celebrates Giving to Winnipeg

Join Turtle Lodge tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 10) as Aboriginal torchrunners, dancers and musicians help lead the Celebration of Giving - a benefit for Winnipeg Harvest at The Forks.

They will also be joined by drummers from the Aboriginal, Japanese, African, and Celtic traditions.

Also joining the Celebration of Giving will be the highly acclaimed Aboriginal Music Tour, which includes Shy-Anne Hovorka, Missy Knott, Nylin White, and Chris Sutherland (aka Shibastik the Fantastik).

A Celebration of Giving is part of Winnipeg Harvest’s annual Share Your Thanks campaign, which takes place every Thanksgiving weekend.

The public and the media are invited to join in, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Oodena Circle at The Forks, immediately east of the Johnson Terminal.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Share Your Thanks Food Drive

Help feed over 40,000 Manitobans this Thanksgiving by bringing in your Share Your Thanks paper bags to any Canada Safeway store. Thanksgiving's quickly approaching, and we still need your help!

How else can you help?

  • Fill the bag with non-perishable items
  • Feed a Family through a donation ($20 of food for each $1)
  • Volunteer at the Winnipeg Harvest warehouse
  • Fast on October 10 to celebrate Thanksgiving
If you didn't get your brown paper bag in the mail, Canada Safeway also has $5 and $10 pre-packaged hampers that can be bought in lieu of food donated.

Don't let Manitoba go hungry this Thanksgiving.


In light of the recent H1N1 outbreak in Manitoba, Winnipeg Harvest is taking the following precautions to make sure all of our staff, volunteers, and clients stay safe during this time. We have iniated the following:

Food Bank Operations
Food banks will not close and staff are being cross-trained in order to run on a skeletal staff if needed.

Staff and volunteers with flu-like symptoms should stay at home for TWO days until symptoms pass. If they do not pass, seek out medical attention.
Symptoms of flu include: fever and cough, and one of more of the following: sore throat, sore joints, sore muscles, fatigue.

People who are receiving food from food banks should not be excluded from receiving food or services. However, clients who are sick should be kept at least 2 metres away from others to avoid the spreading of infection.

Help those who are sick by asking a friend of volunteer to pick-out or deliver food for the client (these people should be advised to leave the food at the client's doorstep to avoid exposure).

Regular cleaning of the facility is recommended, especially horizontal surfaces and doorknobs, or other surfaces frequently touched by the public.

Staff and volunteers should be instructed to wash their hands when entering/leaving Winnipeg Harvest.

Food bank staff have an important role of protecting the community from the flu. The easiest way to prevent the spreading of germs is: frequent handwashing, using proper cough etiquette, avoding contact with others who are sick.

Winnipeg Harvest's Suggestions
• Encourage proper handwashing and coughing etiquette with posters and reminders, ensure washrooms are properly stocked, make sure hand sanitizer and facial tissues are readily available throughout the building.

If you think you are sick with the H1N1 virus, do not panic, and immediately seek attention from a medical professional.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bring a Tin for the Bin - Results

After Friday's game against the Edmonton Eskimos, Winnipeg Harvest collected 948 pounds of food through The Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Bring a Tin for the Bin campaign.

Thank you so much to everyone who brought a non-perishable food item to Friday's game!

Student Usage of Food Banks

New numbers have been released from the press conference at Sisler High School on September 28, 2009.

The number of students ages 6-18 who require the use of food banks has gone up by a whopping 23.8% :

  • September 2008 - over 12 000 students aged 6-18 used the food bank.
  • September 2009 - a year later - over 15 000 students aged 6-18 using the food bank.
There are twenty-two school food programs supported by Winnipeg Harvest

There are food banks in seven universities and colleges including: Univeristy of Manitoba, University of WInnipeg, Red River College, Yellowquill College, Winnipeg Adult Education Cetnre, Horizon Learning Centre and Aboriginal Community Campus.

Winnipeg Harvest needs your continued support to help fight hunger in Manitoba!

Monday, October 5, 2009

More Share Your Thanks Photos...

I've located a few extra pics from the September 28 press conference at Sisler High School, and thought I'd share them with the rest of our readers...

(George Matheson of the Manitoba Pork Council adressing the press conference)

(general shot of the press conference)

(John Graham of Canada Safeway addressing the press conference)

A big thanks again to the Students of Sisler Environmental Helpers, and those who have been bringing in food for the Share Your Thanks food drive.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Winnipeg Harvest is now on Facebook!

Click here to see our new Facebook profile!

Winnipeg Harvest is working hard to get our name out in the social media scene. We've conquered the blogsphere, and now we're finally on Facebook!

Add us on Facebook to get blog updates, event invitations, and even more great Winnipeg Harvest information. With your help and support, we can all work together to help make Manitoba hunger-free.

Donate to Winnipeg Harvest

Did you know that for every $1 donated to Winnipeg Harvest, we are able to get $20 worth of groceries. Every loonie donated brings us one step closer to eliminating hunger in Manitoba.

Donations to Winnipeg Harvest can now be made online.

Tax receipts are available for donations over $20.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Fuel the Challenge

(click image to enlarge)
Transportation costs are one of the food bank’s largest expenses. Winnipeg Harvest’s 10 trucks are the vital link in transporting food to soup kitchens, shelters, community food banks and children’s programs, which provide food to over 40,000 Manitobans each month.

From September 14 - October 13, 2009, Red River Co-Op is pledging to match your donation dollar for dollar up to $10,000 to keep Winnpeg Harvest's trucks running.

Donations can be made online, by phone, or mailed to the Winnipeg Harvest office. Tax receipts are issued for donations of $20 or more.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bring a Tin for the Bin

Winnipeg Harvest wants to thank and recognize the continued support of the Winnipeg Blue Bomber Football Club and all its fans for remembering to BRING A TIN FOR THE BIN to tomorrow's game against the Edmonton Eskimos.

All fans are encouraged to support Winnipeg Harvest with a donation of a non-perishable food item.

Suggested items include: Canned Fish (tuna and salmon) & Canned Poultry (chicken and turkey), Baby Food and Formula, Canned Vegetables & Canned Fruit, Canned Stew, Chilli, Brown Beans, Peanut Butter, Dry Pasta, Rice, Canned Pasta & Spaghetti Sauce, Cereal, and Canned Soup.

We wish the best of luck to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers tomorrow,

Go Blue & Gold!