Esan lives in Scarborough, Ontario with her husband and fifteen-month-old daughter. Both she and her husband were employed and they were doing well. They were able to cover all of their financial commitments.
Then COVID-19 happened and like many others in Canada, both she and her husband were laid off.
Thankfully, arrangements were eventually made for her husband to continue to work from home, but with no daycare options for their baby, Esan has not been able to resume working.
Having only one income makes it difficult for them to meet all of their obligations.
The food that she has been able to get from the Philadelphia Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Staff of Life Food Bank has been a real lifesaver for them.
Esan told us that for right now, the food that she gets from the food bank is their main source of sustenance. She does not know what they would have done without this help. In the box that the volunteers have provided for her, she finds things like vegetables, canned foods, fruits, milk, and baby food.
She says, “Truthfully, they give us healthy food here. I am especially thankful for the baby food. That is very expensive at the store, especially right now! ”
Esan has been hit hard on a personal level by COVID-19. She has lost two uncles to the virus. She told us:
“I didn’t think with all the statistics that my family would be affected but I lost two of them. I was living with one of my uncles before I moved here… so he was more like a dad to me… we were really close… and then I get the call that he’s gone… even if you don’t know anyone who is affected you just have to keep yourself busy… think sweet thoughts do things that would make you feel less burdened… that’s what I’ve been trying to do ever since I got the word on Tuesday but it’s not easy…”
Esan reflected on the social stigma about having to go to a food bank in a time of need:
“There is really no shame in going to a food bank… people think that you have to be really poor to go to the food bank but I believe that a food bank is a very important service in a community in a time of need. The money I save by coming to a food bank I am able to now use for other important supplies for my baby.”
This month, the food has been supplemented with personal care kits from ADRA for which Esan was also very grateful.
ADRA in Canada, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada, and Adventist Community Services – North American Division have partnered to fund food banks across Canada so they can respond to the increased needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.