August 16, 2022 Meet Shae London, our new Executive Director We’re so excited to welcome Shae as our new Executive Director! Shae has been associated with The Stop for 10 years. Her introduction to The Stop came as a volunteer and soon after, she was employed in progressive roles within the organization culminating as the first Community Services Coordinator in 2016. As an introduction to our community, Shae has shared what are the most rewarding aspects of her role, including her motivation to join The Stop and the challenges that are expected ahead. I started working at The Stop as a volunteer many years ago and from that moment, I fell in love with the organization, the people, the community and the work that we do. I believe that the most important aspect of our work is all the ways in which we engage the community around food. Food is essential to life and health, but our work also recognizes that community – and having a place to go, and a sense of connection and belonging is also essential to the holistic health and well-being of the individual. The programming of The Stop recognizes that and ensures that this is reflected for all who engage with us – community, volunteers, staff, partners and stakeholders alike. The most rewarding aspect of my job is working with people and knowing that our work directly impacts the health and well-being of others. We have a wonderful complement of staff members committed to our organization’s great work. We do good work here. We have many strong supporters who also believe in our mandate and aid us in our mission. It is fulfilling to know that what we do makes a difference in the lives of others on a daily basis. “The need for our services has never been greater. This work is personal to me.” The provision of emergency food services by social service agencies was never designed to be a permanent solution to hunger. We will strive to ensure that we continue to provide our services to as many people who need them and to continue to do so with the highest level of integrity and dignity that The Stop is known for. We are facing the same challenges as many others: climate change, unemployment, unequal opportunity, lack of affordable housing, poverty and malnutrition, just to name a few. The trajectory of the rising costs of goods and services is a concern for all of us. It is very difficult to know that food, a basic human right and necessity of life, becomes ever more inaccessible for some of the City’s most vulnerable. Since the start of the pandemic, we have seen the number of meals served in all of our community drop-in locations and the number of food bank hampers we disperse increase exponentially. We are feeding more people with fewer resources. However, we are resilient, creative and determined to continue to provide the programs and services that our communities have come to depend on. Our primary sources of funding come from our generous donors. Empathy is our best weapon and defense. The best way to support the work of The Stop is to give generously when and where possible. Share the message with your networks and look for creative ways to engage with our organization!