Morden's Many Hands Resource Centre held their annual general meeting Tuesday night to give an update on progress, programs and impact. 

MHR Executive Director Mariyam Tsygankova said they have been in the 500 Stephen Street location for a year now.  

"It has been a blessing to the organization to finally have a place to call home. We started hosting our community drop in evenings, filled with people enjoying a cup of coffee, playing games, joining the conversation. The community meal was able to return to in person dining and we are excited that people can come together and share a meal around the table again. We restarted our Community Kitchen program. People can share their cooking skills with each other. We are teaching people how to make a meal on a budget." 

She added the Food Bank has met a real need in the community. 

"Over the course of the last year, the food banks have grown from serving 60 families a week to 95 per week. Much of this increase is due to the increase in displaced persons from Ukraine. So in total, we distributed for 2022, we distributed 4073 hampers. Through grants from United Way and Morden Area Foundation, we added a new freezer and a new commercial refrigerator. That increased our ability to safely store meat and vegetables." 

Behind the scenes the purchase of accounting and donation management software were implemented to better manage and track finances, donors and donations coming in and the creation of non-discrimination, harassment and conflict of interest policies were created to better support the work of the organization, noted Tsygankova. 

This video, produced by Many Hands, explains the work of Many Hands Resource Centre. 



Looking into this year, MHR will take over the management of the Morden's Farmer's Market, something they have played an increased role in each year.  

"This year we will be running the whole farmers market and we will be able to extend our voucher program as well. There are a lot of plans to attract more volunteers, more nonprofit organizations, busker stations, food trucks. We want to make this a community event so people come not just for shopping, but to communicate and meet each other. We are planning to do something for kids, to have fun."  

The community gardens will be run by MHR as well this year, all in one location on Loren Dr. with 128, 300 sq ft plots available for people to grow flowers and vegetables. Returning gardeners are able to register at 500 Stephen Street on April 27th from 4-8. New gardeners are able to register on May 4th from 4-8 at the centre. Plots are $30 to rent for the year. 

Tsygankova said none of the work they do is possible without the 75 volunteers who give their time to go beyond the tangible make a place for people to connect and to have a place to share their stories and ask questions. 

"People appreciate what we do, especially when it comes to the food bank. We heard lots of stories and they're so touching, and you understand, you realize how much you do, and how important your job is. Because there were some ladies from Ukraine and I got some questions like, 'When does it get easy?' People want to talk, people want to communicate, people want to know they are not alone, and their situation is not just unique. Many people go through that, and I think all these events or all these programs we run, help people just to get this mental health help." 

Here is the website link to learn more about Many Hands Resource Centre. 

Youtube: This video, produced by Many Hands, explains the impact the food bank makes.