19 Jun 2020

Welcome to the Neighbourhood! World Refugee Day Food Distribution

Estera Niyera

June 20th is World Refugee Day — an annual observance dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.

To recognize this day, the ANC delivered “Welcome to the Neighbourhood” packages of food and gift cards to every person/family who arrived as a refugee in St. John’s in the last year — both Government-Assisted Refugees (GARs) and Privately Sponsored Refugees (PSRs).

Research tells us that immigrants who arrive as refugees experience a higher prevalence of food insecurity as they make the transition to high-income countries like Canada.

Recognizing it has been a very unusual first year of living here, with a historic snowfall, along with COVID-19, we wish to thank these newcomers for the contributions they have made — and will make — as friends, neighbours, and colleagues.

The Association is incredibly grateful for substantial donations from Community Food Centres of Canada, Verafin, and United Way, along with individual community efforts and contributions, such as those from Lakecrest School.

All food packages included a welcome card on the front, featuring artwork by Estera Niyera, a former refugee and current Grade Nine student at Brother Rice Junior High, and a welcome message in five languages on the back.

Read the CBC-NL online story (and watch the Here and Now TV story) at this link.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and the recent anti-racism protests have shown us how desperately we need to fight for a more inclusive and equal world: a world where no one is left behind.” — United Nations, 2020.

Learn more about World Refugee Day: https://www.un.org/en/observances/refugee-day