In 2019, 10% of households in Waterloo Region experienced food insecurity. That’s close to 20,000 people struggling to provide food for themselves or their family, and these numbers most certainly increased during 2020. Food charities, such as the Food Bank, are underfunded and oversubscribed. Despite good efforts, hunger in our community persists. With an appreciation of the complex nature of hunger, groups of individuals are stepping up to help their neighbours and fill in the gaps.
A group of Waterloo Region residents recently started a community fridge to facilitate access to high quality food and to reduce food waste in the area.
The KW Community Fridge sits at the back entrance of Full Circle Foods in downtown Kitchener at 3 Charles St West and is the first of its kind in this Region. We talked to Kamil Ahmed, one of the organizers, about the fridge and how it is going.
This program is a part of the “Local Journalism Initiative” grant program and is funded by the Community Radio Fund of Canada, the Government of Canada, and the CKMS Newsroom. You can access the archives of this show on radiowaterloo.ca/news or on the national LJI website.
The music on today’s show has been ‘Fat Cartoon Jazz’ by Purple Planet Music .
Maria Almhana, arrived in Canada in November 2017 from Syria. She was confused, depressed, was not sure what to do. In January 2018 she applied to get “the 100 Syrian Women, 10,000 Syrian Lives Scholarship” from Jusoor organisation which had partnership with student-funded humanitarian initiative, International Student Overcoming War(ISOW), at Wilfrid Laurier University.
As the Syrian conflict escalated, she maintained hope and began to apply her education and skills toward those who were increasingly vulnerable. Currently, she is among 13 students coming from conflict zones at WLU who get the support from ISO. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in International Public Policy at Balsillie School of International Affairs.
She shared her story is of losses and some wins as a young Syrian in a time of war. Her experiences before arriving in Canada from Syria is something that her new friends in Canada may never understand. Even as she settles in this place of peace, with its quiet nights, its houses and streets intact, in her mind, she is building a bridge back to her home.
Mac-Anne loves her country and is so proud of her culture and the religious freedom, my next guest comes all the way from Ghana. Mac-Anne , her friends call her Mac, is an International student from Ghana, who completed her undergraduate studies in Civil Engineering at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana. Mac is in her final semester of her Masters Program in Civil Engineering at University of Waterloo, she is focused on structures and construction and is also a climate change activist. I sit down with Mac-Anne as we talked about her experiences here in Canada. What it is like as an International student to adjust to life here. What life is like back in Ghana, food, culture and so much more.