Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank

2023 Invisible Champion Award - Nova Scotia/Halifax

Nominator Comments:

For 40 years, Parker Street has provided food for those in need within the HRM. As the need grew within the community, they have expanded to provide furniture, emergency assistance, annual tax clinic and major programs. Registration and getting assistance from Parker Street are easy, welcoming, free-of-charge and clients are treated with dignity and respect. All services are available for HRM residents and may be done in person or online. Information is shared on the website, social and traditional medias throughout the year and the community looks forward to application opening dates for the major programs. Sharing is caring, and as such, Parker Street, extends his services and supply whenever there is surplus, going beyond its doors by collaborating and sharing with other not-for-profit initiatives and organizations. Parker Street’s reliable weekly food and furniture delivery program for those with accessibility concerns have also made their services and support easy to access. Food security and improving the quality of life for those in our community is the mission of Parker Street. Parker Street distributes 60 – 80 food boxes each day; they also have an ongoing furniture, clothing and household bank services. New initiatives are implemented based on community needs such as the technology assistance program, birthday club and book club. Each year school supplies and turkey dinners are distributed through the Back-to-School and Christmas Hamper programs; and goals are set based on community needs, supply, client feedback and generous donors. Therefore, over 1000 food boxes per month, Back -to school 2022 1243 backpacks with new unused school supplies, and 994 families/households received Christmas hamper. Emergency assistance fund supported 225 individuals which increased from 150 in 2021. Waste management and recycling is important to sustainability, as such, Parker Street does food rescuing and operates with the FIFO (first in first out) concept in mind. The furniture bank does an excellent job ensuring that upcycling and refurbishing old or damaged furniture are kept out of the land fill and placed in new homes; to ensure sustainability. We accept a wide array of furniture pieces and donors may reach out to Parker Street and help reduce, reuse, and recycle. Energy efficiency lighting and fixtures along with implementing a community garden using compostable produce e.g. tomato are additional measures to combat food insecurity and climate change. Therefore, training staff, volunteers and students to repurpose furniture, clothing, and food to limit carbon footprint and help to create environmental sustainability are core values of Parker Street. The Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank was established in 1983 in Halifax. Today more than 33,000 people benefit a year through our many programs offered to the community, including: emergency furniture, food boxes, food delivery, school supplies and Christmas hampers. . Our clients’ needs range from supplies for a few weeks to long-term provisions to financial assistance for urgent requirements. Parker Street is dedicated to diversity and inclusion which is reflected in the staffing, volunteers, and clientele. It is a multicultural working environment and provides service to a multicultural community, no matter their physical ability, gender, and sexuality. We ensure our facility is wheelchair accessible and have retrofitted our clients services washroom to also be wheelchair accessible, which will also extend to a compliant ramp installation at our main entry points. Our volunteer program is vibrant, flexible and provides a means for community members to engage with other and to gain personal fulfilment as well. Other community engagement programs or initiative include 5K walk/run in August, Parker Claus – Santa Claus during Christmas and supporting the community fridge nearby are among the little things done to show we care, treating everyone with respect and bringing hope to those within our community.

Have you been helped by a human service champion? We would love to hear about it.

Submit your story