Something important to the Ottawa Food Bank is to continuously do food banking better.
We want to change the face of food banking to ensure clients get the best care possible. A few examples of change include our involvement in the Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre and the longitudinal study we’ve partnered in with the University of Ottawa and Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security.
The Ottawa Food Bank has partnered with one of our member agencies, the Rideau Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre (RRCRC), to create a new holistic approach to food banking.
The new “food centre” model will not only offer emergency food assistance but also provide opportunities for counselling, workshops, skill building, and food literacy while providing opportunities for volunteering and employment.
The food bank program is offered by a social worker, who will provide food but also help identify what root causes have brought a person to the food bank.
Together, the client and social worker will create a personalized poverty reduction plan and adapt it to the unique and specific needs of each person. The Ottawa Food Bank provided a grant to hire a second social worker to implement their innovative food and resource model.
The Ottawa Food Bank, in partnership with the University of Ottawa and with funding from the Maple Leaf Centre for Action on Food Security, began a two-year research study in 2017 looking at the various models of food banking.
This study, the first of its kind in Canada, follows participating clients over a two-year period to understand the outcomes based on the various models.
This evidence-based research will help the Ottawa Food Bank and our partners better understand our impact in the community and make decisions for future investments.