Humans of LCF: Rachna Sharma

Apr. 23, 2018

When I think back to my childhood, I remember that times were tough. I would eat and help cook at soup kitchens at my local temple where I was the youngest volunteer. At a young age, I understood the profound impact I was able to make in the lives of others around me. In this way, growing up in a low-income neighbourhood had its challenges but no one was ever alone. Our neighbours put our resources together, cooking for each other and providing assistance in any way possible. 

As I grew up, I began focusing less on the things that “could have been.” Instead, I began working on what I can start doing right now to create a better tomorrow for others who are struggling through the same situation. I made this my personal goal - to embrace all of my struggles and experiences and use them to help others. 

I founded the London Health and Wellness program at Life*Spin Charity four years ago. London Health and Wellness addresses hunger and food insecurities. I host Collective Cooking events, where I have taught over 80 individuals how to prepare fresh, low cost, and nutritious meals, offered for free on a weekly basis. 

Through this program, we have also distributed "Health Promotion" gift bags which include hygiene supplies, literacy tools and other basic needs to families at every event. The most rewarding part for me is seeing the smiles on the faces of children who won’t go to bed hungry and seeing the relief on their parents' faces as they have one less day to worry about.

Our collective cooking events are meant to enhance community bonding, just like the old times. Community has always been so important to me. It has been a huge part in building the resilience I have today. London Community Foundation provides that same feeling of belonging and collective impact I’ve had while I was growing up. The Foundation gave me the opportunity to translate my passion into action. They opened doors for me to help open doors for other people in the community.

This is a vision I share with my community. It is time that we provide equal opportunity for all, regardless of family income, education levels and social class. It is time that as a society we strive to empower everyone, including the most vulnerable in our community, towards a brighter future.

So every day when I wake up in the morning, I have this goal that I'm going to try to change one person's life for the better, especially for those that may not have as much support or comfort. I reach out to these people to let them know that I’m always there for them, no matter the time of the day, to help make them healthier, happier and feel safe. That's what is so important to me here in London – a city that can be everyone’s community.