KW Spot Collective Relaunches its Peoples Programs

Serving free food and coffee downtown. Photo: DIANNE HARTMAN

by BASICS Team Kitchener-Waterloo

On Jan 3, 2014, the Kitchener-Waterloo Spot Collective announced the relaunching and professionalising of their people’s programs.

The people’s programs, which include the serving of free food, programs for those dealing with addiction, and literacy programs, have come out of the need to deal with the problems the community faces by mobilising the community, says organizer Amber Sinson.

Serving free food and coffee downtown. Photo: DIANNE HARTMAN

The Spot Collective serving free food and coffee downtown, November 2013. Photo: DIANNE HARTMAN

“Our children need food, warm winter clothing and basic needs that are not provided by the state,” Amber continues. “It’s obvious that we must rely on ourselves to solve our own problems.”

The Spot Collective, created in 1998 by street youth and socialist students looking for for solutions to the problems they were facing, has always focused on balancing the immediate needs of the community with solving the root causes of poverty by attacking systemic problems, according to Sinson. The relaunching of the people’s programs is a continuation of this combined approach.

When asked about food banks and other social agencies that provide such services she replied, “They humiliate you and make you feel like garbage, and that it’s your fault you’re poor. They also do nothing to address the issues behind poverty.”

Wesley Gibbons, a person who uses the peoples programs, also added, “You can only get one or two boxes a month from the food bank and most of the stuff is expired.”

Those interested in participating are invited to come out to meetings Wednesday nights at 6pm at 43 Queen St., after the free food servings. Contact: 226-289-2559.