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More than Just Food

 

Sol was a participant in our Good Food Centre when she came to Canada almost 16 years ago. Now, she owns Sol Aesthetics and loves to give back and make people feel good.

 

Clients of all backgrounds use the services at Mission Services’ Good Food Centre (GFC). No matter the circumstances, Mission Services is always here to help. Some participants use the GFC once. Some need it long term. A number of participants use the services to bridge the gap between choosing to pay rent or buy groceries. Featured here is a story about a participant who used the program on and off during various periods in her life to bridge that gap.

Sol*owns Sol Aesthetics and loves helping and connecting with others; “This is my passion. I work full time [elsewhere], but this is my passion – taking care of people” Sol enthused. But it took her a long time, a lot of courage, and some help, to get to where she is today.

Sol first came to Canada almost 16 years ago from Columbia not knowing any English; she was pregnant and alone. After she had her daughter, Sol stayed at a local woman’s shelter. Because of the language barrier, she had difficulty with some of the aspects of living in a shelter. After she found housing, Sol started going to Mohawk College to learn English, while working doing nails.

Sol was a participant in our Good Food Centre when she came to Canada almost 16 years ago. Now, she owns Sol Aesthetics (pictured above) and loves to give back and make people feel good.

Despite being on social assistance, working, and having housing, Sol still needed help. “I remember my first winter with my newborn lining up for food for Christmas dinner at Mission Services. In Columbia there is no such thing [as emergency food programs]. I was so thankful and grateful for that. When my daughter was a baby and I was working, I still accessed the emergency food programs because everything is so expensive. Especially the diapers. I used a few of the different food programs in Hamilton. I remember thinking ‘This is just a step. This is just a moment in my life’ But my goal every time I went was to one day bring items, and to be giving, not taking.”

In December 2018, Sol seized the opportunity to collect baby items in response to Mission Services request for donations of items such as diapers and formula. “I thought ‘I’m in a good place right now. My clients are amazing people’. I made two gift baskets and my clients would bring in baby supplies to get entered into the raffle for the baskets. That’s why I did that, just making a little difference. Through all my struggles I learned that if someone gives you a little bit of hope, sometimes that’s all you need. A little bit of hope” Sol smiled.

Sol’s story is inspiring, and sobering. For many of our community members, social assistance and work are not enough to cover everything they need. That is why our Good Food Centre is here – to help bridge the gap by allowing families to spend less money on food, and more on housing and other needs. Emergency food programs like the GFC are often the last resource for community members at risk of losing their housing. Our objective is for our services to be a “step” to help participants keep their housing, and to help community members reach their health and personal goals.

It is thanks to donations from people like you who make this possible. Thank you for helping to provide our community with food, and hope.

*name changed for privacy