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Family Services


Family Services

School Supplies and Backpack Programs

School Supplies and Backpack Programs

Are there needs in your community?

Get involved in a community effort for children without necessary school supplies.  Have a backpack drive, or school supply drive in your neighbourhood, and donate them to a school in your area.

26 locations running School Feeding Programs
11 locations running Red Cap Anger Management
30 locations providing School Supplies

Meet with respresentatives in your neighbouring schools to assess any need for breakfast, lunch or snack programs.  Provide non-perishable supplies to the school office for students who might not have or have forgotten their lunch. Explore opportunities for a breakfast club providing a nourishing start to the day.  More information about this type of program.

Talk to the school administration about the need for programming such as the RED CAP Anger Management program.  This program is run in the school by TSA trained leaders, to provide constructive anger management tools to children. 

Some schools will welcome the offer of screened volunteers to help with after hour sports programs.  They may also jump at the offer of free snacks periodically.  These are opportunities to get into your community and get to know people.
SAMIS TIPS:  To record statistics for these programs look for these areas in SAMIS: Material Assistance (School Supplies), School Feeding Programs, Youth Outreach/Event Program (for sports clubs). More about SAMIS
Food Bank Network Group

Food Bank Network Group

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This information has been received as may be of interest to units who have a food bank.

Thank you for your patience. The winter holidays are a busy time for us, as I'm sure many of you can imagine, and we now have had the opportunity to catch our breath and review work on building a community of practice for aligned food security organizations seeking more peer support. Thanks very much for participating in the survey we sent. We wanted to be sure to review the results of the survey, as well as the next steps we plan to pursue, based upon them.  
Survey Results:
The survey had a 60% response rate (~ 24 individuals), which is quite high and shows the level of sustained need and interest there is in terms of keeping contact with each other. Most respondents were already part of at least one community of practice, formal or informal. The reasons for taking part in a CoP were multiple, and included document and information sharing, better understanding individual organizational strengths, reading case studies and reports, as well as being better able to contact others outside our individual organizations.
The areas individuals most wanted to contribute in were:
•           Programming and Member Engagement
•           Partnerships
•           Public Education/Engagement
•           Food Distribution
•           Strategic Planning
The areas individuals most wanted to learn more about were:  
•           Public Education/Engagement
•           Partnerships
•           Programming and Member Engagement
•           Advocacy
•           Data Collection and Metrics
Next Steps:
We've begun a discussion on how to take these results into a sustainable project that works for the collective group. This includes conversation about where / how to house a community practice - we are meeting with a few other food banks and organizations who have expressed support in this regard. If you know others who are able to help resource this, please get in touch.
We are looking to get in touch again by the end of February with some more opportunities to get in touch, either virtually or in person.
In the meantime, 100% of respondents agreed to share their contact information with others - if you wish to do so please contact Peter_Thomas @can for the document link. Please feel free to have others in your organization or network add to this as a living document to enhance contact and sharing.
Thanks again everyone for doing the work you do and seeking about how we can continuously do this work better. We have really found it so helpful to the health and wealth of our organization to reach out and work with others, and feel that this is one more of this steps.
Hunger Count 2017

Hunger Count 2017

Attention All Corps!

Every year since 1997, Food Banks Canada, in partnership with provincial associations, regional food distribution centres, community food banks and other hunger-relief organizations, has coordinated the survey, and published results in the annual HungerCount report typically released in early November.

Our goal is to encourage as many Ministry Units as possible to participate in the HungerCount survey and get our voice heard.  It’s easy: collect the information from your food bank, meal/snack programs, soup kitchen and other food programs only for the month of March 2017. Answer the questionnaire and submit all forms by May 5, 2017.
Here is a download with everything you need. Documents are in English and French.
If you submit this survey, please send a copy to
The HungerCount survey is the only annual national study of food bank (warehouse/grocery program), soup kitchen (meal/snack program), and other charitable food program use in Canada.
The HungerCount provides a solid foundation from which we can advocate at the municipal, provincial and federal government levels for policies that will reduce the need for food banks. It is also a valuable tool for demonstrating to current and prospective donors that the need for their support continues.
The Issue:
The 2016 Hunger Count Report a comprehensive report on hunger and food bank use in Canada, and recommendations for change, found that in March 2016, 863,492 people received food from a food bank in Canada. This is 1.3% higher than the same period in 2015, and 28% higher than in 2008.
As frontline workers this is probably not news to you, but what if I informed you that this report was missing critical data and that this number is probably much higher.
Only 40% of The Salvation Army Units participated in the survey last year.
That means 60% of our data is missing from this comprehensive report.
The Challenge:
Our goal is to encourage as many Ministry Units as possible to participate in the HungerCount survey and get our voice heard.
It’s easy; collect the information from your food bank, meal/snack programs, soup kitchen and other food programs only for the month of March 2017. Answer the questionnaire and submit all forms by May 5, 2017.

Welcoming Newcomer Families

Welcoming Newcomer Families

Family Services

Tips for Set-up
  • Try to avoid too much noise or confusing directions at the entrance. Have someone near the door to welcome and guide to appropriate place to wait. If you have a volunteer who speaks other languages,this is a good place to have them stationed.
  • Some people will like being around lots of people and want to socialize. Others may be overwhelmed byall the noise. Have a quiet area for those who need to get away from the noise
  • Think through the whole process to ensure it is clear and easy to navigate from one place to the next.

  • Use simple English
  • Speak slowly and clearly. You do not need to raise your voice to be understood.
  • Check for comprehension by asking them to repeat back instructions
  • Keep to one topic at a time. Don’t switch subjects too quickly. Ensure they understand at each step.
  • Have Google Translate app available when you get stuck
  • Use as little paperwork as possible. Keep all written English simple and clear. If possible have documents translated (online translation tools or apps are not perfect but will help)
  • Be patient and keep calm. English is not their first language and it can be exhausting trying to be understood.
  • If there is a challenge in communicating, it’s your job to find a way through the barrier, not theirs.
  • Learn how to say “Hello” in their language.
  • Smile and be warm and friendly. Non-verbal communication is important. Present yourself as a friendly person wanting to help them.

Resources for sharing our faith
Partnering With Schools

Partnering With Schools

Community Family Services

There are many opportunities for your Ministry Unit to partner and support your local schools.
The partnerships among education, health, social service and other community sectors help everyone work together on how to best serve children, youth and families.
For further information contact your local schools or you can search for links to:
  • Community Schools Partnership Initiative (C-SP or CSPI)
  • Community School Team (CST)
  • Community Partners with Schools (COMPASS)
Not only can you provide support to those in need but you can learn about programs that may be beneficial to those you already serve.

If your Ministry Unit is engaged in School Feeding programs make sure you enter statistics for this activity in SAMIS.
Occasional Food Recalls

Occasional Food Recalls

Food Banks

Occasionally there are Food Recalls which affect supplies in stock at food banks or other types of feeding programs.  It is important to stay informed and communicate information that may impact these services quickly.
Register an email address for direct notification from the Government of Canada  - Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Click here to see options for registering or following other communication tools: Canadian Food Inspection Agency

There is a recall effective today for Dole brand pre-packaged chopped salads.  If you receive donations of fresh produce, pass this information on to your workers and volunteers.
Community and Family Services Programs

Community and Family Services Programs

Did you know?

Are you running Community Kitchen, English as a Second Language (ESL), Computer Training, Community Garden, 12 Steps, Budgeting, and Employment Programs

If you are running any of these programs, whether you are a Corps or a Community and Family Services unit, make sure you have the Program Activity  CSP - Lifeskills activated. 

For information on how to activate/de-activate programs for your ministry unit, visit the SAMIS Help area of this website.
Ideas for Meeting Needs

Ideas for Meeting Needs

Innovative Food programs

Here are some innovative ways to meet the need for food in your community!
September 21 - 24th, 2015 is #HungerWeek.  Help raise awareness by tweeting, emailing your members, posting on your website!Feeding Programs

1.  School Snack Program - provide the school with a supply of healthy snack items to be given to students who do not have any.

2.  Healthy Lunch Program - include in your Food Bank items, designated items useful for healthy lunches for children.

3.  Produce Boxes - include a box of fresh produce or provide information for the Good Food Box program - encouraging healthy food choices.  Subsidize families.
To collect statistics for these ministries in SAMIS, check out the options under ACTION -> MANAGE PROGRAM ACTIVITIES.  Activate new items as needed.  Click here for FAQ's about SAMIS.