Monday, August 16, 2010

Thank You Sodexo and the Goldeyes!

Thank you from the CSI children for the wonderful barbecue prepared by Sodexo on August 10!
Thank you to Sodexo for the generous donation to Winnipeg Harvest. We appreciate the support.
Goldeyes players signing autographs for enthusiastic fans.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Share Your Thanks

I've decided to take a bit of a different turn with this blog. In addition to blogging about events that are linked to Winnipeg Harvest and their results, I thought I'd share a bit more about what is going on inside the Winnipeg Harvest warehouse.

Being the social media coordinator, I'm only here in the office once a week, but there's always a lot of work to do and a lot going on here in the warehouse.

Everything's looking different now that we've started the construction on our other warehouse. We've moved everything over to a new building that we've recently accquired, and we've all been given makeshift offices that resemble plywood cubicles to hold us over for the next little while.

Today was a relatively calm day for me, I've recently joined the Share Your Thanks committee, and have been busy designing the bag for the 2010 campaign. This is Winnipeg Harvest's 25th year, so we're trying to do something really cool with the bag. We'll see how it goes...

Have a good weekend!
Social Media Coordinator

Friday, April 16, 2010

Operation Donation

Operation Donation 2010 was a HUGE success. Seventy-five schools donated food, and together they collected 45,821 pounds of food. Special thanks as well to Peak of the Market who matched the donation with 45,821 pounds of food. All together, 91,642 pounds of food was donated to Winnipeg Harvest.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Donnalyn Rapson is one of Winnipeg Harvest's friendly Food Room volunteers. She began volunteering at Harvest about five years ago. In those five years she has gained experience in the pre-sort and sortation areas of the warehouse. Donnalyn has been in the food room for three years now and has moved into a supervisory role. She speaks highly of all the volunteers who work with her; “without them the job would be impossible.” she says.

In her food room supervisory role, Donnalyn has been able to assist the referrals department by consistently assembling their food orders and keeping accurate record of the stock in the food room. They know they can rely on Donnalyn.

Donnalyn is a cheerful volunteer, always happy to come in on an emergency basis to cover a shift. Her friendly disposition and ability to get along with anyone makes her a real Harvest person. She's very proud to be a part of the Harvest family.

Robb Nickel
January 2009

Friday, March 26, 2010

Trailer Park Boys are coming to Winnipeg Harvest!

Mr. Lahey, Randy, and Cory from the Trailer Park Boys will be coming to Winnipeg Harvest on April 9 from 2:35-3:05 pm to help make hampers.

We are so excited to see them!!

Join Winnipeg Harvest and Rockstar Entertainment at The O.C. Social Club (1792 Pembina Hwy) on April 10 to see the Trailer Park Boys and the World's Greatest Escape Artist - Dean Gunnarson.

Join the boys for a night of fun and watch Dean Gunnarson escape from 240 litres of beer.

Doors open at 7pm
Show starts at 9pm

$15.75 in advance
$20.00 at the door

Partial tickets proceeds go to Winnipeg Harvest. 
Don't forget to Bring a Tin for the Bin!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Just listen for the enthusiastic laugh or look for the generous smile, and you'll know you've met a five year veteran of Winnipeg Harvest named Jamie Sotlar. Jamie's approach to his work is an example for the rest of the volunteers and staff at Harvest. He doesn't back down from a challenge!

Jamie is a product of the Sisler High School Work Education Program. Gary McGhee, Volunteer Coordinator at Winnipeg Harvest, was Jamie's teaching assistant at Sisler, so Winnipeg Harvest seemed a natural fit when Jamie was looking for a place to work.

Jamie is a young man with special needs who has become an integral part of the Winnipeg Harvest family. He has matured into an able worker, taking on challenges such as acting as Pre-sort Foreman for the Green Team this past summer. Jamie says that he loves working at Harvest because he feels safe here and his work is appreciated.

Jamie is an important part of the team at Winnipeg Harvest. He asserts that among the benefits of working at Harvest for him are a sense of self worth, growing self esteem and that he is part of something bigger. Jamie says his self-assurance comes, in part, from being a helper rather than being helped, and being looked up to as a mentor to other special needs people.

We love your exuberance Jamie, keep up the good work!

Robb Nickel
October 22, 2008

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rick & Chris

“Loving Food has its Benefits”

Rick and Chris make a great team. Rick guides Chris in his daily activities and three mornings a week, they are at Winnipeg Harvest, working in the sorting room. Chris communicates with Rick in a variety of ways which are difficult for others to understand, yet they have developed a fine way of knowing what is being “said”. Chris is a shy individual who relies on Rick as they work in the warehouse at Harvest among a large group of “sorters”.

Chris has had a difficult time finding work that he enjoys and is capable of doing. Rick says that it wasn't long after they started coming to Harvest, that Chris was excited about getting up in the morning and getting ready for the day. Rick says “When I tell Chris that we are going to Harvest today” Chris gets very excited and claps his hands.” Rick adds that Chris's other favourite job is working as a “cotton-picker” at the MTS Pioneers Club. The cotton is used in the manufacture of teddy bears, the ones destined for the “Teddy Bears Picnic”.

Rick shared a story about Chris; “Chris had ways of letting me know when he didn't like a job. He would not want to get up and would manifest unenthusiastic responses to the usual requests to get ready for the day. One thing I new was that Chris loves food. When the opportunity to work at Winnipeg Harvest came along, I thought maybe this would be a good fit. Sure enough, not long after we started working together at Harvest, Chris began liking the idea of getting up, having breakfast and preparing for work. Food and Chris, Chris and food, food and Harvest, Harvest and Chris, what a natural combination. For two years now Chris has been happy about work and his situation at Harvest. He enjoys the people here and fits right in. He has caught on to his job very well. I know this because he catches me putting items in the wrong place and corrects me with a grin on his face.” Rick speaks with a sense of pride and pleasure about the success of Chris's placement at Winnipeg Harvest. He indicates that the work in the sorting department fits Chris's motor skills and his personality. Rick adds that he has seen growth in Chris which has happened because he is content and confident in his job. “Chris's life at the group home has improved as well, since starting at Winnipeg Harvest,” Rick says with a smile. Chris has not had any serious incidents in over two years.

Rick is enthusiastic about Winnipeg Harvest. “I want to thank Harvest for the opportunity it has given Chris. My thanks also to Gary, the volunteer coordinator, who has learned to know Chris, has made it possible for Chris to work at Harvest and has taken Chris under his wing when I'm on holidays.”

All in all, the opportunity for Chris at Winnipeg Harvest has turned out very well. He fits in well, has grown in his personal life and contributes to the community life at Harvest. Thanks for all you are doing Chris and Rick, Winnipeg Harvest has an added dimension with you around.

May 29, 2008
Robb Nickel

Thursday, March 11, 2010

1000 Friends

So we apologize for the late news, but it is good news!! Winnipeg Harvest has reached its goal of 1000 friends on Facebook. We're so happy and so grateful for the food donation from Peak of the Market. Keep following us on Facebook and Twitter to find out what's going on here at Winnipeg Harvest.
We appreciate all the support.

RRC Students support Winnipeg Harvest

Red River College Students Go “Old-School” to Support Winnipeg Harvest

Graphic Design students will create artwork on site for the 8th Annual Art Festival & Auction at The Forks Market

The Forks, Winnipeg, MB, March 10, 2010 - Second-year Graphic Design students from Red River College (RRC) will show that their talent stretches further than the computer screen as they create original art, in traditional mediums, at The Forks Market.
This weekend (March 13 and 14, 2010) the students will be creating art before the public’s eyes. Steve Vogelsang, Red River College Creative Communications instructor, will auction off their final creations beginning at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Proceeds from the event will be split between Winnipeg Harvest and this year's Graphic Design graduation. This is the 8th annual auction for RRC Graphic Design and The Forks.

“This has become a true signature event for The Forks Market, creating a great sense of theatre” says Randy Cameron, General Manager of The Forks Market. “We are thrilled to be able to support the talented communicators and designers of tomorrow while giving back to our own community.”

Mo Razik owner of Fenton’s Group of Companies began working with organizers on this event in its very first year. “This began as a way for the students to stretch their skills and showcase some of the amazing talent we have in Winnipeg,” says Razik, Event Producer and a tenant of The Forks Market. “It has become both a spectator event and art auction at the same time, with the students creating almost as popular as the auction itself. The caliber is phenomenal.”

Marc Gomez, a Graphic Design student involved in this weekend's art auction says, “It’s about supporting the community. We are supporting Winnipeg Harvest and we are artists in the community. It’s good for Winnipeggers to support local artists.”

“It is a joy to have graphic art students engage in “Old School” art style and participate with today’s school spirit to help feed hungry families in Manitoba,” says David Northcott, Executive Coordinator of Winnipeg Harvest.

The 8th Annual Art Festival & Auction is made possible through the generous support of Fenton's Wine Merchants, The Forks Market, Artists Emporium, Fleet Galleries, the Winnipeg Sun, and Downtown Winnipeg Biz.

For more information contact: Event Day Contact:
Clare MacKay Mo Razik
Manager, Marketing and Communications Event Producer
The Forks North Portage Partnership Fenton’s Wine Merchants
987-4360 947-9084

Friday, March 5, 2010

Art Auction

On March 13 & 14, the Forks Market will be holding their 8th annual Art Festival and Auction. The Red River College Graphic Design students will creating live art from 9:30am - 6:30pm on March 13, and from 9:30am - 11:30am on March 14. The art pieces will then be auctioned off by Steve Vogelsang at 2:00pm.

Proceeds will benefit Winnipeg Harvest and the Red River College Graphic Design Student's Graduation Fund. 

Thursday, March 4, 2010


The Gardening Volunteer: Spreading beauty

Drive by Winnipeg Harvest slowly and take in the beauty of the flower garden in front of our buildings. Their beauty is nurtured by Pauline Johnson, a volunteer at Harvest who spends every Thursday here. She gardens and she assembles food orders for various food banks around Winnipeg.

Pauline started volunteering at Harvest about three years ago and soon became a regular fixture on Thursdays. She's a friendly order picker with a no-nonsense approach to her work. You know that any pallet with food on it that has been wrapped and labeled by Pauline will arrive at it's destination complete and in good order.

Pauline decided to volunteer at Winnipeg Harvest when she moved into the neighbourhood. She said, “I had volunteered at Agape Table, a food bank in Winnipeg, and felt strongly that I should continue to contribute in some way. Winnipeg Harvest is a great place to volunteer and I feel strongly about poverty and homelessness. I don't understand how, in a country like Canada, people can be hungry and without a home. I want to do anything I can to help out.”

The flower garden in front of Harvest is a product of much love and enjoyment. The patch of dirt was not being used for much besides a wild rose bush that Gary, Harvest's volunteer coordinator, had planted. Pauline was chatting with Gary one day and volunteered to work with the patch. “My yard is very shaded and doesn't grow much. I thought, any sunny place that I can dig my hands into would be great. I couldn't leave the rose bush out there all by itself.” The result is a beautiful flower garden for all to enjoy.

Pauline speaks enthusiastically about Winnipeg Harvest. “Harvest is a wonderful organization with lots of great people. I'm not a morning person, but every Thursday I can't resist getting up early to come to Harvest and work in the garden and the warehouse. So many people from every walk of life get an opportunity to contribute their best here at Harvest. I would encourage more people to come and give of your time, skill and money. Every gift is welcome here at Harvest.”

Thanks a lot, Pauline, for being an enthusiastic volunteer here at Winnipeg Harvest. The flower garden is gorgeous and the warehouse is a welcome place because of your smile.
Robb Nickel, August 2008

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Feeding the Soul: Emma does it well...

One of the highlights of the day here at Winnipeg Harvest is 11:30 AM. Why, you ask. Well, it's lunch time and the kitchen beckons. There's always a lineup, because the food is so good, and to top it off, it's nutritious. The reason why we enjoy lunch time here at Harvest is because Emma is an excellent cook, using her vast cooking experience and a little motherly concern to plan a variety of menus with the food at hand. There are always lots of salads; pasta, leaf lettuce, rice, to name just a few. Along with that one can find chicken fingers, or a wonderful soup, chilli, many types of sandwiches, and there's always plenty of fruit and fresh veggies.

Emma came to Canada from the Philippines and began her working career as a garment worker. It wasn't long before she became a quality control inspector and then moved on to be a floor supervisor. An opportunity came along to work as a cook at Central Park Lodge and Emma took it. She loves working with people and this was a great possibility to do that. Central Park Lodge is where she learned to cook for large groups of people. From there she moved on to the Holiday Inn South, working as a line cook. “The chef there liked what I did.”, says Emma, and so she received a promotion, becoming a sous chef.

Emma speaks fondly of her 25 years at the University of Manitoba. She learned a great deal there, from preparing pastas to pizza to gourmet sandwiches to preparing banquets. After her time at the University, Emma retired. What now, she thought. “After two years at home, wondering what to keep busy with and being bored a great deal, I began to look around for volunteer opportunities. I was at the Baptist Mission one day and someone suggested I check out Winnipeg Harvest.” said Emma with a smile. That was three years ago. She began here at Harvest by working in the sorting department but it wasn't long before her excellent cooking skills were brought to bear in the kitchen. Emma hasn't looked back. She loves her work and loves the people. Her cooking feeds the stomach and her smile feeds the soul.

“If you are retired and bored at home, try Winnipeg Harvest. It's a great place to volunteer.” says Emma. She has a way with folks around here, and says she has incentive to get up in the morning because she knows she is coming to Harvest. “I am treated with love and respect, and there is always someone to go to if I have a problem.”

About Harvest, Emma says “It's a good place with fascinating people. I feel important here and people don't want me to leave. Gary in the Volunteer department has been a great support and rumor has it, David Northcott appreciates what I do here at Harvest. What more could I want.”

Thanks Emma, for being part of the team at Winnipeg Harvest. Lunches will never be the same if you ever leave.
Robb Nickel, June 26, 2008

Monday, February 22, 2010

Moving About the Community Press Release

Just a reminder for all you readers... The Moving About the Community campaign is still going on, and we're looking forward to the purchase of a new cube van. Please read the following media release, and don't hesistate to contact our communications coordinator.

For Immediate Release

In the last year, Winnipeg Harvest has moved 10 million pounds of food.

Puzzled on how it’s done?

WINNIPEG, December 7, 2009 – Winnipeg Harvest needs to replace some of the trucks in its fleet so that it can continue to move food to over 40,000 Manitobans each month. Winnipeg UPS Stores are launching the “Moving About the Community” Campaign on Tuesday, December 8 at The UPS Store at 1400 Ellice Avenue at 1 p.m. The Winnipeg UPS Stores are calling on all businesses or individuals to purchase a portion of a new cube van.

“The warehouse operation at Winnipeg Harvest has 10 trucks on the road six days a week. The trucks transport food to local shelters, soup kitchens, community food banks and children’s programs throughout Manitoba”, states Bruce Michalski, Director of Development at Winnipeg Harvest. “Moving food to people who need it is critical to our daily operations, and our trucks are essential in allowing us to carry forth our mission.”

"The UPS Stores of Winnipeg are working with Winnipeg Harvest to help transport food to the hungry. As a courier service, the Winnipeg UPS Stores understand the importance of distribution in a timely manner, supporting Harvest's mandate to distribute food to those who are hungry”, says Iain Scott of The UPS Store. The UPS Stores of Winnipeg will kick off the campaign with a generous donation for the first piece of the puzzle towards a new truck for food transport.

Donations for the “Moving About the Community Campaign can be made to Winnipeg Harvest at 1085 Winnipeg Avenue or by phone at 982-3673. Winnipeg Harvest is a non-profit community based organization committed to providing food to people who are struggle to feed themselves and their families and continue to work to reduce poverty while continuing to maximize public awareness of hunger.

For more information about Winnipeg Harvest or The UPS Store’s “Moving About the Community” Campaign, please contact:


Chris Albi
Communications Coordinator
Winnipeg Harvest
(204) 982-3584 work

Closer and Closer!

We're getting so close to our goal!
As of today, we have 627 Facebook Friends, 244 Page Fans, and 110 Twitter followers. Don't stop adding us! Make sure you tell all your friends to add us as a friend or fan on Facebook... Peak of the Market will donate 1,000 pounds of food to our warehouse once we reach 1,000 friends/fans/followers. Let's reach this goal by the end of the month!

Find us on Facebook: Winnipeg Harvest
Find us on Twitter

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Bill Adamson

Bill Adamson story “Giant with a gentle heart”

He strikes an imposing figure, this man seated before me. He wears a curly beard with a bit of salt and pepper colouring, and today he is also wearing a “shiner” as he calls it. He explains that his black eye and other bruises are the result of a fall on the weekend on one of his frequent walks. “I'm getting better” he quickly assures me, adding that he was quite sore for a while.

Bill is a veteran of the Winnipeg Harvest “trenches”. He began volunteering here in 1998 and became the self-proclaimed “potatoe man”. He spent his days sorting through thousands of pounds of potatoes, boxing them for the people who came to stock up their pantries. He loved his work with vegetables, making sure that spoiled items were put aside for the compost heap so that recipients didn't have spoiled food to take home to their families. Bill insisted on quality work, because if the job is worth doing it's worth doing well.

Bill arrived in Winnipeg with no intention of staying. He was on his way east, perhaps Toronto, because it was a bigger city with more options for him. He took a room at the Occidental Hotel and began to make contacts around the city. One day, after hearing about Winnipeg Harvest, he decided he would check the place out. He walked in, met Lee Newton who was the volunteer coordinator at that time, and asked her if there was any work he might do. Lee was only too happy to show him around and arrange for him to begin his service at Winnipeg Harvest. As people soon found out, Bill is a friendly guy, but prefers working alone. He says, “You get more work done that way, without all the distractions that can happen at a busy place like this.” Bill and Lee became fast friends over the years, supporting each other in ways that only they could understand.

Bill was born in Vancouver. At the age of 15 he and his parents moved to Seattle, Washington. With a sparkle in his eye, Bill tells me that at age 16 and a half, he joined the U.S. Marines, telling them he was 17. He served for ten years, working as a Military Policeman. His service took him to places like Japan and the Philippines were he escorted prisoners back to the U.S. for trial. Life took Bill to many places all over North America before he arrived in Winnipeg. A lot of that time was spent living from hand to mouth on the streets of various large cities. He loves to hitch-hike, telling many interesting stories of rides he got, especially those in Mexico.

Gratefulness fills his voice as he shares about the many friends he has made here at Winnipeg Harvest. Harvest with its many wonderful people is the reason Bill stayed in Winnipeg. He says, “The people at Harvest went to bat for me”. When he turned 65 and became eligible for pension, Bob and George helped him to find a wonderful apartment and furniture and they even set him up with his own computer. All the while that he volunteered at Harvest, Bill was able to feed himself with hampers from Harvest. Now that he's got a steady income, he is proud to say that he shops for his own groceries, insisting that there are people out there who need the food from Harvest more than he does.

Bill comes to Harvest regularly, stopping in for a cup of coffee and a piece of pie. “I love cherry and pumpkin pie and if I see one of them sitting on the counter, I put it in a bag and take it home to enjoy with a good cup of coffee and a movie.” Bill loves movies, especially the classics. He collects them, going to pawn shops and other places to pick up bargains. He is also hooked on some of the games that are on his computer.

Not long ago, Bill decided to visit friends down east. He stuck out his thumb and three months later he reported back to Winnipeg. He smiles as he talks about going to Toronto, Montreal, Florida, Mexico, California, up to Vancouver and then back to Winnipeg. When he got back, he found out that he had given his friends here quite a scare. Many people around the country had been looking for him. He realized then, how much people here at Harvest care about him. Bill enjoys life and is very grateful for the friends he has made at Winnipeg Harvest. He has a comfortable home and is welcome for a cup of coffee and a piece of pie anytime at Harvest. What could be better?
May 8, 2008 Robb Nickel

Friday, February 19, 2010

Peak of the Market Update

So as an update from yesterday, we're now at 241 Facebook Page Fans and 574 Facebook Friends, bringing our grand total to 815 people who have connected with Winnipeg Harvest.

Keep up the great work Winnipeg! We're almost there :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010


We just wanted to let all of our readers know that every day we're getting closer and closer to our 1,000 friend mark on Facebook, so keep up the good work. Please spread the word, and tell all of your friends to add us on Facebook.

When we reach the 1,000 friend mark, Peak of the Market will donate 1,000 pounds of food to us. We'll keep you posted on how things are going!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Worth Hayden

Meet Worth Hayden, volunteer order filler at Winnipeg Harvest. Worth is retired from the Department of Natural Resources. He likes to stay active and Winnipeg Harvest provides him with a hands-on opportunity to help the community.
“I really enjoy the people – it’s fun to joke around, but you also end up really caring for the people you work with – it’s like a family.”

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Add us on Facebook!

Winnipeg Harvest is having a special Facebook promo:
If we reach 1,000 friends by the end of February, Peak of the Market will donate will donate 1,000 pounds of food to Winnipeg Harvest. Tell all your friends, and we'll see you on Facebook!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Thank You Corey's Computing

(Left to right - George Naugle, Proprietor; Tori Webber, Winnipeg Harvest; Corinne Naugle, Proprietor)

Winnipeg Harvest would like to thank Corey's Computer for raising $1,042.32 in the month of December 2009 to feed the hungry during the cold winter months.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Top 10 Most Wanted

Canned Meat & Fish (tuna and salmon packed in water; chicken or turkey)

Cereal (Plain, Fibre, Non-sugar Coated)
Macaroni and cheese
Dry pasta
Baby food and Formula (Iron-enriched formula; jars of vegetables, fruit or meat; infant cereal - oatmeal, barley or rice)
Canned Soup (vegetable, tomato, lentil, pea)
Canned Fruit & Vegetables (Packed in juice)
Canned stew, chili, brown beans
Peanut Butter - light
Canned Spaghetti Sauce


Winnipeg Harvest is pleased to announce that our Referrals Co-ordinator, Catherine Wirt has been appointed a seat on the Canada Without Poverty board. Congratulations!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Operation Donation Food Drive

Welcome to Operation Donation, an annual Winnipeg Harvest food drive led by Winnipeg schools that also sees Manitoba Public Insurance, Peak of the Market and The Manitoba Teachers' Society working together to help replenish Harvest and regional food banks low-stocked shelves.

For more information, please visit the Operation Donation Food Drive website.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eastern Chrysler Joins Moving About...

We would like to welcome another piece of the puzzle to our Moving About the Community campaign. Thank you to Eastern Chrysler for your generous donation to Winnipeg Harvest.

If you are interested on how to add your company to the Winnipeg Harvest puzzle, don't hesistate to visit the Winnipeg Harvest website, or email us at:

Monday, January 18, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

We're linked up

We've now made it even easier to keep track of Winnipeg Harvest via Facebook and Twitter... Everything is linked up, we've got our blog posting on Facebook, and Twitter tweeting over to Facebook. Please make sure to tell all of your friends to read our blog, become our Facebook friend (Winnipeg Harvest), and follow us on Twitter (@WinnipegHarvest)!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Welcome Back from the Holidays

Hello Readers,
We just wanted to welcome everyone back from the Holidays! We apologize for the lack of blog/Facebook/Twitter posts over the past few weeks, but we just wanted to let everyone know that we're getting back into the swing of things here at the Winnipeg Harvest.

We've got plenty of photos, events, fundraisers, etc. coming our way in the next little while, and we can't wait to share all this information.

Thanks again for following us and showing your support for Winnipeg Harvest.
Enjoy 2010!

Hunger for Hope

Corus Radio (CJOB, Power 97, Groove FM) and Winnipeg Harvest have teamed up to launch Hunger for Hope, a province-wide fundraising intiative aimed toward ending child hunger in Manitoba. This annual campaign will focus on raising much-needed funds to help feed young Manitobans, specifically babies and infants.

No Child Should Have to Go to Bed Hungry
To donate, please click here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Switchfoot Plays The Garrick

Just a reminder for everyone - Switchfoot will be playing at The Garrick on January 18, and they have requested that all audience members bring A Tin for the Bin. The show starts at 8:30pm. See you there!