Ottawa woman helping families in need with 200 boxes of food
As inflation takes a bite out of family budgets, one Ottawa woman is dedicating her time and money to help low-income families with groceries.
Its called Support Sistem and it is a new foundation that Khadija El Hilali created to give back to those in need.
"I will be distributing 200 boxes of food," says El Hilali. "Through Support Sistem I support all parents who are low-income, single, receiving social assistance or just in a precarious situation."
For six weeks, El Hilali has been packing boxes, getting ready to distribute food to families this weekend.
"The items can last between three to five months depending on the families income, the families size," says El Hilali. "Things like rice, pasta, meat, fresh onions, potatoes, seasoning, tomato paste, pasta sauce, granola bars, juice boxes. So everything that’s essential for a family."
El Hilali’s sister Hajar says their family was once in the same position as the people they are now trying to help.
"The organization itself is really amazing," says Hajar. "It started because of an idea of our family coming from nothing, migrating to Canada with very minimal support. And really starting our whole lives from the ground up."
El Hilali has also partnered with Bruce House, an organization that helps support people living with HIV.
"I think it’s an amazing initiative. And it’s never been more needed," says Patrick Morley, Bruce House Office and Communications Coordinator. "The Ottawa Food Bank has already reported a 20 per cent increase in use of their service within a year. We are also seeing at our agency and many others where the need for food is increasing."
El Hilali has accumulated all of this food through grants, but she has still invested $2,500 of her own money to make sure families get what they need.
"We don’t do this for any other profit but to help those who were once in our position, could be in our position, and to prevent those from every being in our position," says Hajar.
"I don’t gain anything from it," says El Hilali. "The only thing that I gain is just knowing that 200 families are good for the next few months."
If you are a single parent or family in need, you can visit the Support Sistem website to register for a box of food. All of which need to be picked up this weekend.