Every year, the Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination publishes an Emergency Food Services Guide which lists all the organizations which offer essential emergency food in our community.
In the 2019 guide, there are 21 emergency food services listed in Guelph. Chalmers makes up two of those services with our Downtown and West locations. At the time of writing, approximately half of those are closed indefinitely due to Covid-19, many due to the closure of the buildings in which they operate, such as schools and churches. The larger pantries; Guelph Food Bank, Chalmers, Hope House, Salvation Army remain open at the moment along with the two main meal providers — the Drop-In Centre and Royal City Mission — albeit some with modified access and food choices.
With the reduction in the number of emergency food providers, the pressure on those who remain open is greater than ever as those who live with scarcity struggle even more than usual.
Chalmers is looking for your support at this time to ensure that we can continue to offer our guests the most nutritious hamper of food that we can. Many people have emailed or called asking how they can help. At this time, we are asking for financial donations ONLY to help us limit our volunteers’ exposure to others and the potential contamination of food items. A $50.00 donation will provide fresh, healthy groceries to a guest in need for six weeks.
To make a financial donation online, please visit our Canada Helps page.
If you are uncomfortable making an online donation, we will also accept cheques & grocery store gift cards via mail. Our mailing address is:
Chalmers Community Services Centre
41 Macdonell St.
The Chalmers board and staff have been struggling with the decision of whether to remain open and how to keep our staff, volunteers and guests safe. We have decided to continue our Food Pantry services at their regularly scheduled times while doing everything we can to minimize risk. All other programs (cafes, mending, etc.) are cancelled until further notice.
If the COVD-19 outbreak is causing you to experience food insecurity, please don’t hesitate to pay us a visit. We do not do any means-testing and accessing our food pantry requires no registration. All we will ask you for is your name.
We are so grateful to the wonderful community of Guelph for their continued support of Chalmers and its mission and we are asking now for your generosity and help during this challenging time.
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Debbie Stanley, Chair