Joan DiFrusciaChair, Otonabee South Monaghan Food Cupboard
I grew up in the Peterborough area and moved away for several decades. A few years ago, I moved back home, back to the community that I grew up in and literally back into the home that I grew up in. I was welcomed with open arms.
Throughout my life, I have disliked situations that were not fair. I am the type of person who asks questions (lots of them) and holds people accountable. That has led me to investigate several social justice issues. Food security for all, is one of them.
When dropping off food from my church, Keene United, the general manager of Kawartha Food Share mentioned that there was an emergency food supply in all of Peterborough County except for Otonabee-South Monaghan (OSM) Township.
That was in March, 2013. After doing research over the summer, comparing different models around the county and gathering information from city food banks, a tailored-for-OSM model
was developed. The OSM Food Cupboard opened in November, 2013 in Keene United Church, serving residents of OSM and Hiawatha First Nation.
It has been quite the learning curve as the newly created Food Cupboard committee and volunteer staff work to provide an environment that is compassionate and respectful of the guest families who are in need in our communities. As the chair of the committee, there have been times when everything felt like it was new and a challenge. How many challenges can one handle at the same time?
My faith helps. I am blessed to have the support of my husband, three wonderful children and their partners. And with the team of committee members and volunteer staff, we work through issues as they come along. The OSM Food Cupboard is now a going concern. I am proud to be part of a group that is filling a need in our communities.
There is much for which I am grateful.