Chosen 300 says hunger demand in Kitchener region goes beyond holiday season

kitchener (WPVI) – It was the first time Michelle Snipes of West Kitchener waited in line for food. Like many others, she is grateful for the Thanksgiving giveaway from Chosen 300 Ministries. But there are concerns about what will happen when the “season of giving” ends.

“I think it’s important to help the people in the community because sometimes you don’t really know what people are going through,” said Snipes.

Brian Jenkins, executive director of Chosen 300, said the organization continues to bid, but uncertainty about hunger has increased 60% in Kitchener.

“What it really means is a difference between life and death because they just don’t have enough to eat,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins said prior to the pandemic, Chosen 300 fed 1,500 families. Now they look at 2,500 families every week, many of them newbies.

“We see a Lexus pull up or a Mercedes pull up. Now why should we serve that person? Well, they had a job before the pandemic,” he replied.

The selected 300 has five locations across the Kitchener area. The pantry is open six days a week.

“It’s a big problem – the problem of hunger. But on the other hand, the donations are so small,” Jenkins said.

Chosen 300 officials say the biggest challenge was seeing many people are unemployed and their wage contributions have fallen in the face of the pandemic. And Chosen 300 offers more services than just food.

“They work effortlessly to make sure the community has food, clothing, and shelter when they don’t have shelter. So it’s more than just a vacation,” said Lelia Williams of West Kitchener.

It’s a wake up call. The holiday spirit is alive, but the need to help the less fortunate is greater than ever.

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