The Woolwich Community Services are preparing their hampers for the Kiwanis Club of Elmira’s annual Christmas Goodwill food drive.
Volunteers from this year’s community drive will be canvassing door to door looking for non-perishable items to replenish the local food bank.
Instead of smaller community groups running their own food drives, groups are collaborating with the Kiwanis Club, pooling their resources and allowing the food drive to cover more ground in less time.
“Last year we collected 13,000 pounds of food and we hope to match that this year, even though the economic outlook is not as promising as last year. We feel the need is just as great if not greater than last year,” said Fred Karpala, Kiwanis member and co-chair of the food drive. “With the help of other community groups, we are now able to canvass all of Woolwich
in just three hours.”
This year members of the Bloomingdale Mennonite Church will cover Bloomingdale and Maryhill, while a number of Woolwich Minor Hockey teams and the Breslau Air Cadets will help out in other areas of the township.
The small army of volunteers numbering close to 160 will be out early Nov. 19 starting at 9 a.m. and hope to finish up around noon.
Karpala estimates it will take close to 47 teams to cover the township in the three hours.
“Each team covers anywhere from 100 to 150 houses and the other groups and churches that join us work with our club to make that happen. Any time you have a collaboration it’s positive.”
The Kiwanis Club is asking homeowners to help by leaving their food items in a bag on the front porch with a note attached to the bag indicating “food drive.”
Last year the club filled 154 hampers that were distributed to less fortunate families, including more than 500 children and adults.
“We are hoping to collect even more food with our township-wide canvass, to help meet what we feel may be a greater need this year,” said Karpala. “The volunteers will be out even if it rain or snows.”
The food drive is absolutely essential to the WCS, said Kelly Christie, director of community supports.
“All the food that is collected on the day is going to fill all the hampers we have,” said Christie.
“Without the food drive we would be able to provide some food that we collect from the local schools but it would not be as much as we need. With the Kiwanis holding the food drive in
November we know we will have a good selection of food for those who need it.”
Currently the food bank has in excess of 8,000 pounds of food thanks to the recent Thanksgiving food drive.
“We are not low right now but we are always accepting food for the food bank because sometimes as quickly as it comes in, it quickly goes out,” said Christie.