It’s go-time for food drives in the re­gion

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - ALI WIL­SON

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.

[ALI WIL­SON / THE OB­SERVER]

Tina Reed of Wool­wich Com­mu­nity Ser­vices is ask­ing the pub­lic to do­nate to their food drive this fall, as the shelves are look­ing bare.

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