My name is Rhoda and I was introduced to Eden Food for Change by a friend when I was in desperate need as a survivor of domestic violence. EFFC has been a joy in my life.
I was making sixty thousand dollars a year when I was assaulted, and I lost everything when I lost my health. For two years I was bedridden and hooked up to IV’s, just trying to survive. The first time I came to EFFC, I had casts on my arm and my leg. Not only was I embarrassed because I was not familiar with being in this situation, I also didn't feel this program was for me, that I didn’t fit, as a single person with no children. The volunteers, the advocates, and everyone associated with Eden were so inviting and warm towards me.
I have been coming to EFFC regularly since that first time and without them, I don't think I would have survived. I am not originally from Ontario which made it a lot more difficult because I have no family here and all my family are back in Newfoundland. Having this group of people that I can count on and talk with is why I have made it through all the hardship.
Once my health improved, I was able to return to school at age 35, and it took 5 years to graduate with diplomas in Legal Administration, Law Clerk and Paralegal Law. I have undergone 9 surgeries and each one takes a little more out of me, but through physiotherapy and counselling I still make it here each month. EFFC provides more than just food but also legal services, educational services and cooking services. They have all been essential to my recovery.
My favourite memory of EFFC is the first time I came to the Food Bank and a volunteer came over to me. I was all in casts with my head down and very ashamed of how I looked. She took me around and it was like being in a little grocery store. I found the grocery store model to be so tasteful, it still brings a tear to my eye. Everything was so well organized and well done and everyone was just so positive. That will be with me forever.
I want to thank all the people at EFFC for everything that you've done. Once I have fully recovered, you'll be seeing me on the other side, helping out others as well. God bless and thank you.