Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Meet Frank...

I would like you to meet Frank. Frank is a 70+ year old man who started supporting our food bank about a year ago. Every month Frank brings us about 8 cans of food and a cheque for $50. The incredible thing about it is, he walks to wherever we are. All summer he walked from Dorval to Pierrefonds to come visit the food bank and give his contribution. Monday was a terrible day to make the trek from Dorval to A Ma Baie, which would be amazing in nice weather. It was snowing with 60 km winds. Frank walked for 2 hours to visit and contribute. He is a quiet, humble man, who just wants to help. After his visit, he left, to walk home. Another 2 hours. Thank you Frank. He is an encouragement to our team.

On the renovation front, we had a work team of 13 in on Saturday to tackle some gyproc, tiling, wall building and brick work. By the end of the day, we made an encouraging dent in the work to be done. Thank you to all the guys who came out to help. There is more to do and we will have another work day soon.

Christmas is upon us and we are looking for people and Companies to adopt some of our families for the holiday. This involves supplying Christmas dinner and/or presents for the kids. If you are interested, we will supply you with gender and size of the kids from one of our families. Please contact Kathryn at kmccreath@videotron.ca



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Sobering News

The Gazette ran an article a week ago about the challenge that food banks face in Canad in our present economic reality. "- Quebec — usage up 37.9 per cent, with seniors comprising 3.8 per cent of users and children 37.9 per cent". The article states that food bank use is up across the board 28%, and that one in ten is a first time user.

Our experience this year validates this article. At present we are feeding 120 families a week and in our new location, I expect we will reach 200 in the next 6 months. The need is huge. Our new facility will enable us to store more food. We will be capable of storing frozen and refrigerated foods as well as non-perishables. We are working hard to meet the challenge that we see in our community.

Christmas will soon be upon us. Renovations don't change that. We will once again be looking for people to adopt a family for Christmas. You can pick the size of family. We will provide the age and gender of the children, you do the rest. If you are interested please contact us.

If you would like to make a donation, that would be welcome as well. You can do so through Canada Helps, at the top of our web page.



Tuesday, October 12, 2010

An Amazing Monday

After a holiday weekend, food bank can be slim pickings. Our food distributor is closed on holidays, so there are no deliveries. Today, was the worst I have ever seen it. I asked one of the managers if they had anything we could take by pallet. He said all the had was a "big" box of frozen vegetables. We said we would take a look at it.... The box was 4x4 and weighed 800 pounds! This was one box, with one bag in it. With so little food to distribute we had to take it and get creative as to how to package it.

On the way back from picking the food up, I got a call from my friend Stephane who works at The North Face. I almost didn't answer because I was processing how we would handle the days slim pickings. However, I decided to pull over and answer the call. Stephane had about nine massive containers of non-perishable food that The North Face had collected at there annual sale! When it was all done, a day that we thought we only had cold cuts, frozen veggies and bread, turned into an amazing grocery box, thanks to the "extras" that came out of nowhere. God is good.

We still have 6 containers of left overs for next week,.... sounds like a Sunday School story.

Thank you to The North Face, Challenger Transport and CTS.



Friday, September 24, 2010

New Beginnings

It is happening! We have a new home. As of November 1st we will be in A Ma Baie. We will be situated behind the bowling alley on Gouin Blvd. After about 5 months of being homeless, we can't wait. It has been a challenge to say the least to run a food bank out of 3 or more locations.

This move means we are going to need more people to partner with us as we meet the needs of the people we serve. For the first time in years, we have to pay rent, which will be about $2500 a month, including commercial taxes. We are also in need of a walk in fridge and freezer.

More good news.... Challenger Transport is donating a 53ft. trailer to On Rock. This gives us all the storage space we will need.

We look forward to being in the position to increase our services to the people we serve, right in their neighborhood.

If you would like to partner with us in making a difference, please send me an email.



Friday, September 10, 2010

It's Picking Up

The school year has begun. We have started to communicate with our schools regarding the Lunch Program. So far we have one school signed up for 25 lunches a week. They have asked if they can spread the word to other schools that don't know about our program. It seems that each year we pick up a new school or two.

Our facility issues seem to be coming to an end. We are presently negotiating a lease in A Ma Baie and it looks really good. We should have occupancy October or November 1st. The sooner the better.

It has been slow concerning our usual food suppliers, but that has not slowed us down. It seems that every time we hit a slow period, new companies or stores show up to help. This month a Grocery store in Cote St. Luc called up and gave us a van load of canned food and juice. A trucking company just gave us about 20 cases of cereal. God always provides.

We look forward to the new opportunities that will come from living among the people we serve.



Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Crazy! Great!

First we will talk crazy,... On Sunday, I was picking up the Second Cup box at Fairview. I came outside and could smell burning.... I got in the truck to leave and the brakes were gone. I opened up the hood and noticed the burning smell was a little stronger. Now, remember, we lost our last Safari to a fire. I thought I would take a look underneath, and low and behold there was a fire. I immediately called 911 and stood way back, feeling a little sorry for the guy parked next to the van. The fire department was very quick in responding, and it turns out the fire burned itself out before they got there. I had the van towed to my mechanic,(Frank, at the ESSO on the corner of St. Charles and Hymus. Amazing dude.) $138 later, it turns out my brake line leaked on the exhaust and it was an easy fix. I have owned 4 Safaris/Astros,... two have caught fire.... that is crazy.

Now for Great. This week promised to be a hectic week at the Food Bank. Pete is on vacation and John(who drives the bus) couldn't make it. So, I had to drive the bus and we were using interim delivery guys to get the boxes to our families. It was a great day for food supplies. My son and 2 of his friends came to help me do the pick up, which was awesome. Loading the bus alone is a lot of work. Three 14 year old boys make it easy. When we arrived at Westview to unload and pack boxes, I was amazed at the amount of volunteers we had. Kathryn, Trish and Janet, two of whom are newbies, did our fruit and veggie triage. All three brought their kids who, along with the three I brought made short work of packing boxes along with our regular people. It is amazing how smoothly things run with positive, eager people. I was not looking forward to this Monday morning but it turned out to be a great day. Thanks to all those who came out to help, you helped make a difference.



Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Thank You

A few weeks ago I posted that we were in serious need of staff on Mondays for the food bank. The response was amazing. For the past two weeks we have had several people come in and volunteer. My web designer, a friend from football and his son, to a friend and her two teens. It has been very encouraging to see people give of their time and energy, especially on really hot days. Thank you to those who volunteer.

We continue to be blessed with food supplies. We now have enough Veggie thin crackers to feed a small country. Vegetable supplies are awesome as well.

Thank you to all those who support this ministry financially. It is a great encouragement to see the generosity of people as they invest in this work we do to serve our community, especially those in need.

We are hoping to be situated in A Ma Baie by October. We are working on a rental agreement. It is not "in the bag" yet, but it looks good. More news as it unfolds.



Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Few Good Weeks

Monday at the Food Bank is always more fun when there is an abundance of food to give to our families. The last two weeks have been amazing. This week our boxes were filled to the point that the boxes wouldn't close. Summer is always good for fruits & vegetables for obvious reasons, but this week was over the top.

Summer creates other challenges though, like having enough staff to make it happen. Many of our volunteers are on vacation. If you have a Mondays open, we would gladly accept your help.

It is always good to get a phone call from one of our families saying that they no longer need our services because they got a job. We have had a few of these calls in the past few weeks. One in particular is a woman we have been serving for a few years. She has been working toward getting her qualifications to be an x-ray technician. This week she called saying she got a job in her field and can now take care of her family. It is encouraging when the system works. Now we can add another family from our waiting list.



Tuesday, July 6, 2010


The food bank operates regardless of the weather. Yesterday was no exception, and it was HOT. Sunday night As I was drifting off to sleep, I asked God for an a lot of food for our families on Monday. When we got to the distribution center the place was wall to wall with food. We had more vegetables, fruits and non-perishables than we had seen in months. The bus was packed. And it was HOT. I think on average we lost about 5 pounds each as we loaded, unloaded, packed and then reloaded the food for our families.

I was amazed at how good natured our volunteers were in the heat. Lots of water and Gatorade were consumed. At the end of the day our 120 families received a healthy box of food to help them through the week. Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor. The biggest food haul of the year on the hottest day of the year. Be careful what you pray for.

It was a good week.



Friday, June 25, 2010

The summer begins

The wine tasting was a success. We received great reviews from those who attended. Karl did an excellent job of representing Portugal's wineries and Brenda and her kitchen staff did an equal job of representing Portuguese cuisine. Thanks to all those who helped put this evening together and those who attended.

The food bank continues to run full swing throughout the summer with the help of Westview Bible Church. Our big challenge at this time of year is to figure out which of our clients are moving and where. Many move without notifying us ahead of time. This is a challenge every year.

We continue to look for a new location. We have had some interesting prospects, but none have panned out as of yet. We are still focusing on the A Ma Baie area, and look forward to partnering with other ministries and organizations working in that area to better meet the needs of the community.



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wine Tasting June 12th

June is quickly approaching and it is time for our Wine Tasting Extravaganza. This year it will be on June 12th at the beautiful A Ma Baie Cultural Center. This is a new facility and will be ideal for this event. This time around we will be sampling the wines and cuisine of Portugal.

Tickets are $60. To reserve send an email to kim@onrock.org

There will also be a silent auction.



Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Poker Tournament was a success

The On Rock Poker Tournament went off without a hitch. It was a good night. We had 50 people come out to play. We would have had more but the Game 6 kept many people at home, glued to their TV's. However, it was an awesome night.

When all is said and done, we made $4410 on the evening. Steve Greenspoon did a great job of running the game. Thanks to our friends Don, Martine and all the dealers who came out to lend a hand.

I also want to thank Air Canada, Elan, Monster Gym, Aptech and Bob's Auto for providing our prizes for the final table.

Now, it's on to the Wine Tasting Juns 12th.



Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Time is Flying

Wow. We have been homeless for six weeks. We are still looking for a place near or in A Ma Baie, but there is not much available. We are not rushing into anything, but, it would be nice to have a home again.

The On Rock Poker Tournament is coming up quick. Monday night at Bourbon Street West, 6:30pm. It is going to be a good time. I hope to see you there. There is more info on the On Rock Website.

June 12 is the On Rock Wine Tasting. This time around we are doing wines from Portugal. We will be sampling Portuguese Cuisine as well. You won't want to miss this event. There are only 120 seats available and we sell out every time, so reserve early.

Today we got a call to pick up 86 cases of sandwich meats. It was a welcome call because our freezers were empty. This will serve our families for about 3 weeks and help the school lunch program. It is amazing when local companies chip in and help serve their community.



Friday, April 16, 2010

Sharing is Good

We received a call 2 weeks ago offering us 25 pallets of frozen goods. We were unable to take any of it because we don't have a facility yet. However, the food was directed to The Old Brewery Mission and they were able to make good use of it. We have had this kind of relationship with The Old Brewery Mission for a few years now. This week they called us and offered us two pallets of non-perishables. That is amazing, because we can keep them in our bus. So we went down and picked up 2 pallets of food for our food bank this coming Monday.

Sharing is one of those lessons that you learn in Kindergarten and if you keep practicing, it helps make the world a better place. Thank you to The Old Brewery Mission.



Friday, April 9, 2010

The Food Bank Marches On

On Rock is without a permanent home but our programs continue. Thanks to the generosity of Westview Bible Church our food bank continues and is growing. It is refreshing to be working in a spacious environment. The gym and kitchen at Westview feel like we are on the open plains compared to the space we had at 5000 St. Charles, as you can see in the picture.

We continue to look for a building. There are a few possibilities that we are considering, but we are not rushing into anything.

Please keep in mind our Poker Tournament on May 10th at Bourbon Street West. All the info is on our website. We have great prizes once again, including Air Canada Tickets, Monster Gym membership prize packages worth $600, Alouettes tickets and more. I hope to see you there.



Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Moved Out

As of Saturday we are homeless. We moved all of our gear into a 53ft trailer, generously supplied by Challenger Transport. They will hold it for 1 month, free of charge. A big thanks to all the guys who showed up to help move. We pulled the move off in under 3 hours.

Now, we begin the process of finding a new facility. We have a few properties we are looking at, and hopefully we will be situated in the next month. While we are homeless, Westview Bible Church has generously provided space for us to continue to run the food bank and our Wednesday after school program. This is a great relief because our one concern was that we had to keep the food bank running. 117 families depend on our services.

Until we find our new home our address will be:

On Rock Ministries
P.O. 178
Succ. St. Charles
Pierrefonds QC
H9H 0A3

A big Thanks to all of the individuals and organizations who have helped make this transition smooth.



Tuesday, March 23, 2010


It is done! The sale is finalized. We have 8 days to vacate the premises. To add to the excitement, we do not have a place to go yet. We will be homeless. We had two possible locations that fell through yesterday. We are pretty committed to being in A Ma Baie. Our Real Estate agent is helping us look. If all goes according to plan, we will move out of 5000 St. Charles on Saturday, into a trailer.

The food bank will continue to operate, thanks to the generosity of Westview Bible Church. We will also be running our 7-12 year old program at Westview. There is a lot of work to be done, but it is exciting.

Our Agent, upon signing the papers said, "you know that this is a miracle?"... I totally agree, and now we await another.



Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Gearing Up

This has been a very busy year so far. I am amazed that it is March already. We have had quite a bit of interest in our build. A proposal is being made to the city by a potential buyer and we are waiting for the news. We have been talking with several people about our plans to move into the A Ma Baie area. Everyone seems excited by the project and agrees that this area needs our services.

Our Poker Tournament is scheduled for May 10th. Bourbon Street West has kindly made their facility available to us again. We have confirmed our first prize. It will be two tickets to anywhere in North America that Air Canada flies, including Hawaii, and the Caribbean.

Admission is $50 in advance and $70 at the door. It should be a great time.

We also have our Wine Tasting happening on June 12th. This time around we will be treated to the wines and cuisine of Portugal. Stay tuned for more information.



Tuesday, March 2, 2010


The first On Rock Breakfast is over. It was a great morning. The food was good, the turnout was awesome. It was a good opportunity to share what is going on at On Rock and to express our vision for the future. Many seemed as excited about the future as we are.

A big thanks to all who were involved in making the morning a huge success.



Tuesday, February 23, 2010


The building has been for sale for two weeks now. We have had at least three interested parties so far. Our agent says there is considerable interest, so things are looking good. Today one of the prospects brought a contractor in to discuss his plans.

Don't forget the On Rock Breakfast Saturday morning at Westview Bible Church. We will be sharing some of our plans for the future.



Friday, February 5, 2010

A Step or a Leap of Faith

As of yesterday, our building is officially for sale. We outgrew our building about 2 years ago, but struggled to make it work for us anyway. However, we have reached a point where it is now effecting the scope of our work in the West Island. Our location has also hampered our vision for the West Island because we want to offer more services to the people that we serve, but we are removed from many of them geographically.

Our vision is to move into the A Ma Baie area. About 75% of our clientele live there. So, we have decided to sell our building and make the move. Last year was a very rough year financially, but we think that this is the time take a step of faith and move into our vision. It is a little crazy, but it feels good. Stay tuned for more developments.

We will be talking more about this at our Breakfast Fund Raiser on Feb 27th. I hope to see you there.



Thursday, February 4, 2010

The First On Rock Breakfast

On February 27, at 9am, at Westview Bible Church, On Rock will be hosting its first ever breakfast fund raiser and information session. It is no secret that On Rock has had a tough year, but we are in the process of making some bold moves to better serve our clientele. Come to breakfast and find out what we are up to and how you can be involved.

The food promises to be great and the news even better.



Monday, February 1, 2010

No food for 3 days

I got a call this morning. It was a friend asking if we could put together an emergency food basket for a family he knew. I asked him what the situation was. He explained to me that it was a family of 4, a Dad and 3 kids, and they haven't eaten since Friday. One wonders how that happens in Montreal. To think that while most of us were having a good time and eating whenever we felt like it this past weekend, within Kilometers is a family not eating at all. It is a little mind boggling. Obviously, we jumped to help out and put together some food. This week we will find out what other resources they need.

You would be surprised how many times last year we heard similar stories, of people too ashamed or timid to ask for help.

What a start to the week.



Monday, January 11, 2010

Generosity and the Bosnian Refugee Family

Syl met a Bosnian family at Maxi on Friday. They approached her and asked her for money for food. Syl said she did not have any money but would buy them some groceries and that we ran a food bank and would help them out further.

Today, Syl and I drove to Laval to bring this family some food and assess their needs. They have been living for two weeks in an empty apartment, with a few borrowed items. Syl put out an SOS for some furniture, clothes, bedding and dishes. The response so far has been amazing. People have been contacting her and offering some amazing stuff. Stuff that we take for granted. Thank you to all who are helping this family.

We are still looking for;
Bed - double or queen for parents
Sheets for the same
Beds for three children.
Bedroom furniture. Their rooms are EMPTY
Kitchen appliances.
coffee maker
toaster (Sandie)
toaster oven
some kind of mixer
frying pan
serving dishes
Baking pans etc
book shelf
school supplies

If you can help email Syl at syl@onrock.org



Friday, January 8, 2010

The Good The Bad and the New Year

Last year was a challenging year. A lot of good things happened, but there were some not so good things as well. We are going into this year with hope. Hope that this year will be a year of generosity and growth.

However, it started with a grind, which lead to $1000 van repair. Our van is a necessity for the food bank. It is safely back on the road.

On the good side, we have made contact with a food distribution company that may be a regular supplier of food for the food bank. We pick up our first pallet today. We are grateful for the generosity of people who see the need that we fill and want to be a part of it. This is always an encouragement.

As the new year starts, we are looking into putting our building on the market, so that we can move into the neighborhood where most of our clients come from. This will give us the opportunity to become a part of that community and make an impact on so many different levels. It means building daily relationships, rather than just weekly. Increased visibility and contact gives the people we serve more opportunity to see the love of God at work.

Happy New Year.