September 22, 2023 will stay in my memory for a long time. For the 10 years that OSHaRE has existed, the impact of the volunteers, guests, supporters, and staff has shaped my view of community. September 22 exemplified this in everyway. It started like any other day; dedicated volunteers and staff showed up early to pack school lunches, prep meals for the guests and sort through bins of Food Rescue from generous local businesses to be used in our program and surplus shared with other agencies.
At noon, guests assembled to pick up their hot lunch, the sound of chatter, laughter and thankfulness filled the OSHaRE space. Across the parking lot, at 265 10th St. E., the Barry’s Construction team and contractors finished with care the final details in the new space, as volunteers hurried to get the space ready for the grand opening.
At 1:00pm, businesses, volunteers, guests, Second Harvest staff, community agencies, and our partners from the Salvation Army came together to celebrate the opening of the new facilities housing Grey Bruce Food Share (GBFS), dedicated space that will be used to sort, store, and share Food Rescue and other large corporate food donations with partner agencies across Grey Bruce. GBFS is an investment in sustainability and diversion of good food from the landfill and, into the hands of those who need it. This was a time to celebrate partnership, collaboration and of course, community.
Just three hours later, at the OSHaRE location, friends, families, guests, and teams from businesses, agencies, churches showed up to Walk for OSHaRE. Our biggest fundraiser, the annual walk has continued to grow year after year. This year was no exception; with more walkers than ever, the community showed up in support of OSHaRE’s meal program, and to show our guests that they are important and cared for. While participants walked through the city raising money for OSHaRE, volunteers and staff were at OSHaRE, serving dinner to our guests.
The lifeblood of OSHaRE is community coming together to share what they have. Thank you to every volunteer, guest, staff member, business, supporter, and walker for showing up… and sharing. Colleen Trask Seaman