Bianca Mammarella is a UFCW 175 Union member employed in the grocery retail sector. She’s also a 2022 UFCW Canada equity grant recipient for McMaster Hope, a university-campus led initiative in Ontario which provides supports for prospective students facing adversity, along with addressing social justice barriers within the Hamilton region.
Bianca is one of the four co-founders McMaster Hope, which is a branch of the HOPE Initiative Foundation, and used the 2022 Equity Grant to support McMaster Hope’s initiatives throughout the year. McMaster Hope directly engages with the McMaster University community and the Hamilton community; they used the grant to help spearhead multiple events to empower students and raise awareness around the issues that marginalized communities face on a daily basis.
Their initiatives include Warmth of Winter, which aims to support Hamilton’s homeless population with long-lasting solutions. In 2022, they conducted fundraisers such as bottle drives to raise money to purchase and subsidies to donate to Good Shepherd, which is a local homeless shelter here in Hamilton.
Their other main initiative, HOPE for Success, strives to aid students in their transition to university through mentorship and a series of workshops such as financial literacy, and providing real life student advice.
Th UFCW Canada Equity Grant Program aims to support newcomer programs, human rights initiatives, and community action projects. Annually, the new Equity Grant Program will consist of a total of three grants – worth $1,000 each – made available to UFCW Canada members and allies.
By assisting UFCW members and community members, engaged community activists and students in addressing societal barriers to inclusion, the grant is a tangible initiative that mobilizes solidarity through community action and a solidarity approach. In doing so, the UFCW Canada Equity Grant program upholds our union values which include recognizing the social justice work being undertaken by our membership and communities across Canada.