Site Navigation

Emergency Food Hampers

Feeding Those in Need & Addressing Hunger in Our Community

For over 60 years, House of Friendship's Emergency Food Hamper program has been providing emergency food assistance to people in need. 31,730 food hampers were distributed in 2010-11, serving approximately 22,000 people.

Meet some of the friendly folks at the Food Hampers Program. They may not take themselves too seriously, but they treat hunger very seriously...

photo collage

For more program information see the description below, download the brochure above, call (519) 742-0662, or e-mail hampers@houseoffriendship.org

volunteer bagging carrotsphoto

Why is there Hunger in Waterloo Region?

There are many reasons why some people in our affluent community need emergency food assistance. Some of these include:

  • Unemployment or underemployment
  • Inadequate fixed incomes
  • High costs of housing, transportation, and education
  • Unexpected expenses, family emergencies, and illness
  • Being a new Canadian with limited financial resources
  • Drug, alcohol or gambling addictions
  • Poor or abusive family relationships
  • Poor mental health

Did you know?:

  • One-third of the people we serve are children 12 years of age or under.
  • Approximately 40% of the people we serve are not on social assistance.
  • The other 60% receive some social assistance income in whole or in part.

Food Sources

  • Food Bank of Waterloo Region The Food Bank of Waterloo Regioncollects donated food that is distributed through member agencies like House of Friendship. House of Friendship is the largest member agency and distributes over half of the food collected by the Food Bank of Waterloo Region.
  • We also receive direct food donations from churches, community groups, service clubs, schools, unions, businesses, farmers, and individuals.
  • Some staples (baby items, rice, margarine, potatoes) are purchased at wholesale prices using dollars donated to House of Friendship.

You Can Help By .....

  • Growing food for us
  • Donating food (for more information...)
  • Donating dollars (for more information...)
  • Donating small household items, clothing and baby products
  • Educating yourself and others about hunger, its causes, and effective solutions
  • Advocating for social justice
  • Volunteering your time:
    • Over half of the work done at the Emergency Food Hamper Program is donated by volunteers. Many volunteers have received assistance through this program.
    • Volunteers sort food and clothing, pack food hampers and initiate or assist with related projects.
    • Without volunteers, our program would not exist. Please contact us if you are interested in helping us help others.

Download Brochure

HOF Emergency Food Assistance Blog
Blog Home Page

Volunteer Profile: Jane!
For five and half—if not more!—hours every Friday, Jane helps to anchor our Friday volunteer crew. She seems generally to come with Luke, another Friday stalwart. Like others who have been profiled here, she possesses a kind and generous spirit, a willingness to truly engage with those around her and pitch in wherever needed. But […] » more

“I Have Always Found a Friend in Music”
Today we have a post by Martin and Ashley W from the Men’s Hostel sharing details of a recent event organized by staff and residents “One of the marvellous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals.  When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility we can […] » more

Volunteers Profiled: The Band of Johns
Many Canadians wake up early each Thursday to get ready for work. Such are my Thursdays this summer, but not everyone shares my schedule, not exactly anyway. I was fortunate to meet three wonderfully “atypical” individuals one Thursday at the Sunnydale Community Centre. Their names are John Thiessen, John Paterson and John Wilken, or, as […] » more

Surprising Variety
Fall is in the air and our summer students have by now started their classes and gotten settled into their new routines.  Today I would like to share a retrospective post that Jessica drafted about her time here at the House of Friendship Emergency Food Hamper Program. What were your first impressions and expectations? One […] » more

Volunteer Profile: Luke!
It’s easy to say nice things about our volunteers. Though each is different, and brings special skills to our program, they are connected by their commitment to Food Hampers, and the fact that they have decided to donate–usually at least once a week–their time and energy to us. Without them, we would be unable to […] » more