It’s go-time for food drives in the region
STOCKING UP FOR A Thanksgiving feast and autumn comfort foods? Local food banks are asking you to keep them in mind.
The Food Bank of Waterloo Region, in conjunction with the food hamper program at Woolwich Community Services, kicked off the Fall Food and Fund Drive last Saturday, encouraging people to donate through the month of October. Food drive bags will be arriving at most doorstops.
“Our shelves are really light right now and need to be stocked up for the winter. This is our major food drive and this is when we really need to stock up our empty shelves from the summer,” said Tina Reed, coordinator of community support at WCS. “Of course, when you hear and see all the promotion of that drive remember that our food bank is also in need of these donations.”
The food bank at Woolwich Community Services provides a food hamper to suit the size and needs of families. Eligible participants must be of low-income and live in Woolwich Township or the northern Wellesley Township.
Over the past month, WCS handed out 66 hampers, which fed 158 local adults and children. Given out once a month, hampers are intended to last only five days.
Reed emphasizes that, when you contribute using the donation bags that get sent through the mail from the food bank locally, the donations will then stay local to help people in the community.
“There are bins at the Elmira locations of Foodland and Food Basics where people can donate items, or you can drop them off at our office,” she said, noting that anyone wishing to have more information is asked to call 519-669-5139.
Reed says they are fortunate to receive contributions from independent community supporters, including farmers who provide weekly egg donations, chickens, fresh corn, homemade jams and relish and the continued support from the staff-run garden at Home Hardware headquarters in St. Jacobs who drop off fresh vegetables. It is support like this that helps during slow donation times, she notes.
In addition to food donations, Reed says they welcome monetary contributions.
“Any money donated is used to purchase perishable products like milk, margarine, apples, potatoes and carrots, diapers and baby formula,” she said.
If you are looking for a short list of things to contribute, she said the food bank is always in need of canned fruit, family size juices and canned meat, although their top ten list is a bit more specific.
“Canned fruit, excluding pineapple, meal helpers, beef chunky soup, canned meat, family size apple juice, sugar, shampoo, laundry, and then condiments such as ketchup, mayo, jam and Cheez Whiz,” she listed. “The best way to think of it is, if you would put it in your grocery cart, someone will take it in their hamper.”
Donations can be made through either of the local baskets, or directly to the WCS office at 5 Memorial Ave. in Elmira.
Tina Reed of Woolwich Community Services is asking the public to donate to their food drive this fall, as the shelves are looking bare.