Af­ter sum­mer, food sup­plies are run­ning low

WCS pre­pares for Thanks­giv­ing food drive to help re­stock the pantry shelves

The Woolwich Observer - - NEWS - FAISAL ALI

WHETHER IT’S RAID­ING THE pantry for the sup­plies, or aisles at the gro­cery mar­ket, res­i­dents across the town­ships are be­ing asked to also save a lit­tle some­thing for the lo­cal food banks.

Run an­nu­ally at Woolwich Com­mu­nity Ser­vices (WCS) in co­or­di­na­tion with the Food Bank of Water­loo Re­gion, the Thanks­giv­ing food drive is seek­ing do­na­tions of es­sen­tial sup­plies for those in need. Be­sides be­ing in the spirit of the sea­son, the re­quest for do­na­tions comes af­ter the sum­mer months, when food banks be­gin to dwin­dle in stock.

“The spring food drive hopes to carry us through to this Thanks­giv­ing food drive,” ex­plained ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Kelly Christie. “We find that peo­ple don’t nec­es­sar­ily give as much dur­ing the sum­mer months – I think that’s just peo­ple are busy or va­ca­tion­ing – but our need doesn’t go down. So usu­ally at this time of year, sev­eral of our shelves are empty, and some are light.”

Do­na­tion bags were de­liv­ered to homes in the town­ship as part of the food drive, with in­for­ma­tion on how to do­nate. Any­one can also drop off sup­plies at the WCS of­fice, 5 Memo­rial Ave., Elmira, dur­ing work hours, as well as at the Elmira Food­land and Food Ba­sics gro­cery stores.

The col­lected food items will all go to­wards stock­ing the shelves for the WCS’s food ham­per pro­gram. Rather than pre-pack­age the ham­pers, peo­ple and fam­i­lies will be able to come by the WCS on an ap­point­ment ba­sis once a month and pick up their pre­ferred sup­plies to fill a ham­per. Re­cip­i­ents must be low-in­come and live in WCS’s cov­er­age area in Woolwich Town­ship and the north­ern part of Wellesley.

“When peo­ple come in, they would get a gro­cery list,” said Christie. “Every­one gets the same gro­cery list, but it in­creases with the num­ber of peo­ple in their fam­ily. And they would shop from the shop­ping shelf, and this way they can se­lect what their fam­ily likes.

“And then they would only take what they need,” she added. “So the sin­gle per­son is get­ting a shop­ping list for one per­son. The fam­ily of six is get­ting a shop­ping list for six peo­ple and they’re shop­ping from those shelves.”

This sea­son’s do­na­tion drive is an im­por­tant one, notes Christie, as it keeps the food banks re­sup­plied for the next few months un­til the next big ef­fort dur­ing Christ­mas.

“This Thanks­giv­ing food drive is go­ing to help us to fill our shelves. And then the Christ­mas good­will pro­gram, fam­i­lies re­ceive food ham­pers at that time as well,” she said.

Although called a food bank, it’s not just food­stuffs that WCS is re­quest­ing. The items most needed in­clude meal helpers, canned fish, ketchup and may­on­naise, sham­poo, laun­dry soap and sugar and salt.

A com­plete list can be found on the WCS web­site. Those look­ing for more in­for­ma­tion on the Woolwich food bank, and other pro­grams at the WCS, can call at 519-669-5139.

[FAISAL ALI / THE OB­SERVER]

WCS is look­ing for much-needed do­na­tions this Thanks­giv­ing to re­stock the lo­cal food bank’s shelves. Here, vol­un­teers John Mathers and El­roy Wide­man sort items at the food bank at 5 Memo­rial Ave. in Elmira.

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