Neighbours taking care of neighbours’ for annual Coldest Night of the Year fundraiser

February 2, 2023   ·   0 Comments

Orangeville Food Bank halfway to raising $100,000


The Coldest Night of the Year in Orangeville will warm the tummies of food-insecure residents again this year.

From now until Feb. 25, people and teams will raise money to benefit the Orangeville Food Bank. And there’s still time for walkers and groups to join in the effort.

From the website: CNOY is a moment each year when tens of thousands of Canadians step outside the warmth and comfort of home to shine a light of welcome and compassion in their communities. Since 2011 the Coldest Night of the Year has raised over $57,000,000 across Canada in 166 communities, where 100 per cent of net proceeds stay local to support CNOY charity partners.

Heather Hayes, executive director at the food bank, said this will be their sixth outing taking part in the national event.

“In past years, we felt so supported by the community in our mission to have a well-nourished community,” she said. “This year, in particular, we are blown away by the response from our community members.

“We are amazed at how many team captains return year over year to this incredible event. We are halfway to our goal of $100,000 and, with three weeks left until event, who knows what could happen? The sky is the limit.”

This year has drawn about 250 walkers, 46 teams, and as many as 34 volunteers to help out.

Hayes said the fundraiser supports the food bank throughout the whole year, not just February. The need is great, and it’s ever-increasing.

“We have seen a 33 per cent increase in individuals accessing the food bank, which is close to 1,000 people a month, currently,” she said. “As we look at a potential recession, the increase in food prices, and high inflation rate, we know that number is only going to grow in the coming year.”

Hayes stressed that the funds raised at this event ensure they’ll be able to continue to provide essentials like milk, eggs, proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, along with the operating funds they need to keep the lights on.

“At times, the work we do at the food bank can be hard,” she said. “We see people when they’re experiencing some of the toughest times of their life.

“The support from the community lets us know we are all neighbours taking care of our neighbours.”

She said that, in a perfect world, nobody would need to wonder where their next meal is coming from or how they’re going to put something in their children’s bellies.

Until that perfect utopia can be attained, she said the Orangeville Food Bank can count on the community to help it support the people who are experiencing overwhelming times.

“We can count on the caring support of this beautiful community to feed those in need,” Hayes said. “We are so grateful to everyone, every volunteer, every donor, every business who makes that possible.


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