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Heroes for January - Playfair OnThe Park at 1705 Playfair Drive

Lynn Sherwood

Holidays are now over and we are moving into the cold Ottawa winter, waiting for the first

signs of longer days and warmer sunlight. Thanks to the generosity of the community of Alta

Vista and Ottawa South, we have been able to provide nutritious food, and a little extra holiday cheer, for the approximately 1800 clients who came to HEFC during the month of December in need of assistance. We thank the many groups in our city who have remembered the less fortunate, especially during the holiday season.. One such group, the residents of Playfair On The Park at 1705 Playfair Drive, are our Heroes for January.

Led by Mrs Anita Fells, this group has been collecting donations every Christmas for 18 years!

Mrs Fells tells me that initially she was supported in this generous gesture by her husband, who has since passed away, yet she continues, despite her ongoing health challenges, to place boxes in the lobby of their condominium building so that residents can add their donations, and to bring them to HEFC for distribution to our clients. Endeavors such as this help to strengthen the connections between all the varied groups in our community, to bring us all closer together, and to make us better people.

As I attend community events during the holiday season, many people ask questions about the difference between the Ottawa Food Bank and HEFC. These are two different organizations yet share in the task of ensuring that nutritious food is available for the residents of Ottawa who cannot make ends meet. The Ottawa Food Bank is a central food distribution warehouse responsible for ensuring that all the residents of Ottawa have access to emergency food supplies, and delivers food to 141 agencies, including community food bank like HEFC, smaller local food cupboards, After 4 programs, meal programs, and multi service programs including shelters.

HEFC has a contract with The Ottawa Food Bank, according to which they deliver to us on a

weekly basis about 80% of the food we distribute to our clients. HEFC agrees to provide

volunteers who serve as board members and front line volunteers at HEFC, as well as taking

responsibility for collecting 20% of the food we need, from the local community. The salary of our able part-time Executive Co Ordinator is paid through a grant from the City of Ottawa, as are all expenses for rent, hydro and the like, thus ensuring that all donations from the community are spent exclusively on food for our clients.

Many local churches and community groups, like the kind residents of Playfair On The Park,

have food drives during the holiday season. It is because of these food drives that we are able to provide a wider variety off food to our clients while the Ottawa Food Bank is supplying the essentials. The staff, volunteers, and clients of HEFC thank all community groups, including Mrs Anita Fells and the condo owners of Playfair On The Park, for their generosity and thoughtfulness.

Members of the Board of HEFC are happy to attend your events or fundraiser to talk about the service we, all together, provide for our community. We even have a PowerPoint presentation ready to go! Call us at 613 737-9090 or e-mail us at for more information.

Heron Emergency Food Centre is located at 1480 Heron Road and is open 4 days a week to

provide emergency food to people in need in Ottawa South.

Check out our Facebook page at Heron Emergency Food Centre @hefcottawa


We welcome cash and food donations including soup, chickpeas, kidney beans, canned

vegetables, tuna and pasta sauce

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