Harvest Project is celebrating an important milestone: We have been working with and helping the community for last three decades.
We’re a registered charity and for the last 30 years, we have dedicated ourselves to helping individuals and families who find themselves on the margins as they work to overcome serious life-crises. We provide a safety-net so that each one can take steps to a healthier, productive life in this community.
More importantly, Harvest Project believes in ‘extending a hand up, not a hand out’ because we understand that each person is of value and is deserving of dignity. By serving those in-need, we express the best of our community and our hope for greater wellness for all of our neighbours.
Harvest Project provides tangible, compassionate care that addresses the needs of vulnerable residents. Helping to enable marginalized residents to re-imagine, rebuild, and empower their own lives brings health and increased stability to our whole community.
Here is a look at what we were able to provide just last year:
1,646 one-to-one Client Care and Intake appointments
1,651 deliveries of grocery gift-cards (during COVID cards replaced onsite Grocery Support)
$272,000 worth of grocery gift cards
$62,000 in additional food support
$180,000 of loans and grants through our Rent Bank, keeping 129 families housed
205 Clothing Support Appointments
Art Therapy Sessions, Career Coaching Sessions + Tutoring Sessions
While the North Shore is one of the wealthier communities in Canada, critical family needs are often hidden, and approaching social services can be intimidating for those who find themselves in desperate times.
About 15% of the North Shore population live in low income families, using a StatsCan definition. There is a large concentration of seniors, and over the next 20 years, there will be an estimated increase of 56% in the 65+ population, many with fixed incomes. We are an ethnically and culturally diverse population with many individuals struggling financially as they aim to establish themselves in a new country. All of these factors contribute to the need for Harvest Project to ‘extend a hand up’.
Recent surveys have shown that thousands of North Shore residents are spending more than 50% of family income on accommodation. This situation can force parents to choose between remaining housed, providing food for their families, and seeing the family fall into poverty. These types of crises within the household mean that many people need to reach out for a hand up to regain stability and wholeness in daily life.
Now in our fourth decade, Harvest Project brings together the best of the North Shore: Hundreds of volunteers plus financial support, thanks to many households, businesses, schools, local governments, religious and community groups. This amazing, sustained commitment by so many is how we can help in the community by our core philosophy to ‘extend a hand up, not a hand out’
Gary Ansell is the executive director of Harvest Project.