Many emergency programs available at Project SHARE need to be managed by trained social service workers. Other positions not related to emergency services include warehouse supervisors, fundraising, volunteer management, bookkeeping, and operations. Our staff is comprised of full-time/part-time and grant positions. The number of staff members ranges from 10 to 15 people depending on the number of grant positions available at various times.
Our office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. excluding holidays. Families are generally seen from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. We do have emergency numbers for people in crisis to call after hours, and these are provided on our after hours telephone message service and are posted on our door. Included are:
Project SHARE provides help with basic needs for people living on or below the poverty line, as determined by Statistics Canada (visit www.statscan.ca for detailed information on poverty lines). Not only do we provide emergency food for families, but we also help with emergency situations of homelessness, emergency utility service situations, general basic needs such as transportation, prescriptions, clothing and medical circumstances. Project SHARE also has several partnerships in place to ensure that people get the right help needed for each different situation. Some in-house partners include Niagara Region Credit Counselling, Niagara Homelessness Initiative, and Niagara Nutrition Partners. Other agencies are available for our social service workers to refer families/individuals to when they are in crisis. A complete list is included in the Partnerships section of our website.
Families who are not able to provide a Christmas for their children are given food to prepare a Christmas dinner and toys. Donors are encouraged to “adopt” a family. For the many families who are not paired with a specific donor, Project SHARE uses money, food, and toys donated specifically for this Program to help them.
To view more information on this Program, please check back during the Christmas season or call Pat Inneo at 905-357-5121 ex.21.
Project SHARE is a charitable organization, with charitable status having been established in 1989 (#107861338RR0001). While funding is provided by The City of Niagara Falls, United Way of Niagara Falls, and The Region Municipality of Niagara, these dollars do not cover all of the costs of operating the building, programs, and emergency resources. Fundraising within our community plays a large role in what we provide to the public.
Over 41% of the food that is donated to Project SHARE comes from outside of the Niagara Region. Within our area, we do conduct a city-wide food drive each year, and community members also conduct other food events on our behalf throughout the year. We also have food donation bins year-round stationed at participating grocery and department stores so people have an opportunity to contribute when they are able to throughout the year. Project SHARE also purchases food at discounted rates.
Items donated should have nutritious value. Some clients may be homeless or living at a motel. For these situations, foods that are easy to make or ready to eat are required.
Traditionally, the items we need most are:
We do have refrigerator and freezer storage space for perishable items such as:
The average cost to feed a family of four. Including a baby, each day is about $70. The Ontario Association of Food Banks reports that, during 2009, the price of many items on the grocery lists of families across Ontario increased by over 10%. These items included milk, peanut butter, pasta, flour, canned soup, baby food, and potatoes.
There can be several reasons or a combination of many as to why people need us. Imagine the consequences if you were unable to find a job and had no one to turn to. In general, without family support, the majority of Canadians are realistically only one or two pay cheques away from falling on hard times. With business closures and cutbacks in today’s economic circumstances, this is more and more becoming a reality for many. Those who are working may be in seasonal jobs or receiving minimum wage. Those working only six months out of the year for minimum wage usually can’t afford increasing utility costs and rental expenses. For a variety of health issues, many residents of our community are unable to cope with the requirements of regular full-time employment. In today’s economy, jobs in sheltered settings or restricted work situations just aren’t available. Single parent families with young children are not in a position to pay for day care in order to seek employment themselves. The reasons people need our services vary considerably. For most, it is their only alternative.
Hunger doesn’t take a holiday. Most people tend to give during the holidays, but, realistically, we need the public’s help 365 days of the year. A couple of ideas are to host an event on our behalf, or to do a Christmas exchange at work with the “gifts” going to Project SHARE There are many things that people at all levels of wealth are able to do. Volunteers are needed to help sort food, advocate on our behalf, or participate in our events.
Kindly check expiry dates on items you are donating. We strictly follow the guidelines of the Public Health Department that restrict us from distributing out-of-date food. Having to handle and dispose of out-of-date food items increases our costs, using funds that could be better spent to help people through our programs.
Because we strictly follow the guidelines of the Public Health Department we are restrict from distributing food items in dented cans or in packages that have been torn or damaged.
Because we do not have space to store used clothing and household items, any such usable items you wish to donate may be taken to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Niagara Falls Nearly New Shop (Queen Street), The Salvation Army Family Thrift Store (Dunn Street), Goodwill Industries Niagara (Portage Road). In emergency circumstances, these are the agencies to whom we refer our families for assistance when they are in need of these items.
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