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