The organizers: Taylor Gorick and Steve Pomerleau
The pitch: Launching Project Hope
The reason: To provide food to those in need
A couple of years ago, Taylor Gorick and her husband, Steve Pomerleau, were trying to think of a way to help people in their community when they came up with the idea of donating food packages to homeless people in Windsor, Ont.
With the help of family and friends, they delivered 100 boxes. “It felt really good, but also something didn’t seem right,” Ms. Gorick recalled from the family’s home in Harrow, which is about 40 minutes south of Windsor. “It kind of felt like we were just giving them a Band-Aid solution.”
She’d seen community pantries where someone sets up a fridge on a sidewalk and people donate what they can or take what they need. She liked the idea and turned it into Project Hope, a community food pantry that is open one hour a day and free for anyone to use with no questions asked. “It’s a little bit different from a food bank, because people don’t have to provide financial information or register,” she said. Instead, people pull up in their cars, look over the list of what’s available and check off what they need.
The pantry is staffed by Ms. Gorick, her husband, other family members and around a dozen volunteers. They keep it stocked with perishable and non-perishable foods. Ms. Gorick said the non-profit organization has been helping up to 160 people a month. It costs about $1,500 a week to keep the shelves full and all of the money has come from donations.
She’d like to see the organization expand and become a registered charity. But for now the couple are just grateful for the support the community has shown. “It’s heartwarming to see a community come together to help other people,” said Ms. Gorick who is a high school teacher. “To see people come together to give of themselves, their time, their energy without judgment, really restores your faith in humanity.”