Orangeville Food Bank reports successful season of holiday donations

December 21, 2016   ·   0 Comments

Written By: Jasen Obermeyer

Christmas is a time of celebration, but also of giving and helping others, which Orangeville Food Bank, thanks to donations from the community, has been tirelessly doing this month, and it has paid off.

Up to 26,000 pounds of food have been donated so far in December, which Heather Hayes, the food bank’s Executive Director, says is close to their goal of 34,000 pounds, the amount donated last year. She says they will most likely reach that goal, as donations are accepted until Christmas Eve.

Donations come from anyone; food drives by companies and organizations, including the Orangeville Police and Fire Department, grocery store food bins, and individual donations. Just go on their Facebook page and see the donations from around the town.

Food donated varies, from peanut butter, pasta, canned fruits and vegetables, along with hygiene items such as toothpaste, diapers and deodorant, and toys for children.

The Orangeville Lions Club donated $3,000, the money being used to purchase Christmas food, particularly fresh turkey and ham.

Ms. Hayes recalls one person donating 700 pounds of carrots, potatoes, onions and beats a couple weeks ago. “We really believe that fresh food is very important to people’s lives and diets.”

The Food Bank pays and provides milk, eggs, carrots, onions, potatoes and apples every week.  They recently had a “Community Sort,” where food bank and community volunteers sorted through 10,000 to 12,000 pounds of food in 90 minutes.

Ms. Hayes says she’s noticed an increase of 100 people a month over the past six months using the Food Bank, as it can be anyone now. “Last year we were doing about 360 people a month and now we’re upwards of 475. So it’s quite an increase of late.”

The Food Bank has a new theme dubbed “The shopping model,” which Ms. Hayes says allows people to do their own shopping at the food bank. “All the food items have a points allotment to them. They get a certain allotment based on how many people are in their family.”

She says they’re extremely thankful for anyone who donates, no matter the donation or amount, as they’re 100 per cent community-funded.

“We are on the side of being able to distribute food and we get to see the difference that we make in people’s lives and I’m not sure always that the community gets to see how their donations make a big difference.”

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