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A visit to the Upper Room Food Bank: A photo essay on giving, kindness and community

Black man with ear-lenght dreadlocks smiling while working in a food bank. He is wearing an orange hoodie that reads "Colorado."
Alain Jules Mizero volunteers on the Higher Room Meals Financial institution in Charlottetown. (Robin “Gessy” Gislain)

Once I consider the Christmas season, there’s at all times one factor that involves thoughts — individuals’s kindness.

At the moment of yr, everyone is longing to be with their households, spending time with their family members. Experiencing that pleasure and heat that comes with being round your family members can have such a optimistic impression.

On the Higher Room Meals Financial institution, witnessing all of the volunteers at work, the grins on their faces, the conversations whereas working, creates such an exquisite environment that exhibits you what the Christmas spirit is, and what kindness is.

Woman with dark brown hair and brown rimmed glasses where a black apron over a blue t-shirt in a food bank.
Dianne Whitlock is one among many Higher Room Meals Financial institution volunteers giving again to her group and people in want. (Robin “Gessy” Gislain)

In a dialog I had, one of many volunteers famous that vacation seasons can are likely to get a bit extra lonely and when individuals haven’t got entry to fundamental meals wants, it amplifies the sensation of loneliness.

Entry to mandatory meals is a human proper. However so long as poverty exists, particularly with low hourly minimal wages in distinction to fixed rising costs of lodging and reasonably priced housing, individuals in want of their fundamental meals wants will at all times be there.

Figuring out there are establishments just like the Higher Room Meals Financial institution searching for the group, offering for anyone in want is actually what kindness is. 

Simply having the ability to spend a while with the volunteers, studying how they intentionally take their time to come back in and cope with the very beneficiant donations and double examine all the pieces, the frequent phrases that resounded had been: “I like P.E.I. I like the group. We have to assist in any manner.”

A real act of kindness

Woman back to camera reaches up to shelve of grocery bags filled with food at the food bank. Black and white photo.
The Higher Room Meals Financial institution in Charlottetown is a buzz with exercise all through the vacation season. Hundreds of hampers can be distributed this yr. (Robin “Gessy” Gislain )

Older man with white hair, checked shirt and black vest fills a bag with groceries.
Bob Steen helps to pack vacation hampers on the Higher Room Meals Financial institution. Hundreds of households have requested for assist this vacation season. (Robin “Gessy” Gislain )

Older man with a grey brushcut wearing a dark blue jacket wheels boxes of food on a trolly.
Volunteer Robert Hayes wheels packing containers of meals by means of the Higher Room Meals Financial institution. (Robin “Gessy” Gislain)

Shelves filled with Prince Edward Island branded grocery bags on shelves at the Upper Room Food Bank.
Prince Edward Island branded grocery baggage are getting used for hampers this vacation season. (Robin “Gessy” Gislain)

Older man, grey hair, wearing a ball cap, with a black and white checkered shirt leaning on cardboard boxes.
Kimble Wooden arrives for a volunteer shift on the Higher Room Meals Financial institution in Charlottetown. (Robin “Gessy” Gislain)

Portraits of Kindness is particular collection of picture essays. CBC Atlantic requested native photographers to go to a meals financial institution and seize acts of kindness by means of their lens. The venture coincides with CBC’s Make The Season Kind campaign in assist of meals banks in Atlantic Canada.

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