House of Lazarus wins FBC Award of Excellence

“The House of Lazarus (HOL) is small and mighty. They have a plethora of programs that support their community and beyond. From Crockpot cooking to firewood to home repairs, this is the little food bank that could.”

Food Banks Canada (FBC) introduced HOL to the assembled masses at the 2019 Food Banks Canada National Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia, announcing that “the little food bank that could” had won this year’s award for excellence in food banking for small food banks.

HOL was “awarded for playing an instrumental role in improving the communities you serve through creative, efficient and successful programs and services and exemplifying the highest standards of operation.” There to accept the award during the June 17 ceremony were HOL executive director Cathy Ashby and clients services manager Kim Merkley.

“I was honoured to receive this award on behalf of our community,” Ashby said. “It’s the community’s award because without the community we couldn’t offer all the programming we do. Every program we offer has a community component. It really is a case of ‘neighbours helping neighbours’ and that’s what strengthens us all.”

As part of FBC’s decision, recommendations came from both local HOL partner Naomi’s Family Resource Centre (NFRC) and Feed Ontario.

“The House of Lazarus provides an essential, progressive and valuable service to our community,” former NFRC executive director Verna Leger said. “This agency is well respected and supported by the community at-large.”

Leger noted that HOL has a longstanding partnership with NFRC, providing support to women and children accessing the shelter’s services.

“The House of Lazarus continually sets the bar for program innovation and service excellence in our network,” said Feed Ontario’s written recommendation. “Beyond the work that HOL does locally, the food bank is a leader in our network and regularly provides their expertise to the provincial food bank network. While the food bank may be small in size, it is undeniably big in impact—both in its community and as a leader in Ontario’s food bank network. Feed Ontario is very proud to work alongside the House of Lazarus in addressing poverty and hunger in Ontario.”

Last year, House of Lazarus served roughly 3,000 people through its outreach programming and fed roughly 680 people through its food bank. To learn more about HOL’s programs and services, visit or contact 613-989-3830.