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Woolwich Community Services food bank looking to stock the shelves with spring food and fund drive

WCS’s spring food and fund drive will be running from March 23 until April 6. The top-ten list of items currently includes canned fruit (no pineapple), meal helpers (Hamburger or Tuna Helpers, Sidekicks), beef chunky soup, canned meat (turkey, ham, chicken), apple juice (family size), sugar, shampoo, laundry soap, ketchup/mayo and jam/cheese whiz. [Ali WIlson / The Observer]

Woolwich Community Services is looking for the community’s support during the spring food and fund drive, the organization’s chance to stock their shelves until the fall drive.

The food bank at WCS provides a monthly food hamper to low income individuals and families living in Woolwich Township and the northern part of Wellesley Township. Each hamper is created to suit the specific needs of the recipient size and intended to last only five days.

“For some families it is keeping food on the table, for others it is assisting them by lowering their food costs, so that the money saved can go towards another necessary household bill,” explained Tina Reed, WCS’ coordinator of community support, of the program’s intent.

Hampers include donated canned, non-perishable food items and hygiene items when available, as well as perishable items such as fresh milk, margarine, bread, apples and carrots which are purchased with cash donations. With the support of the Food Bank of Waterloo Region as well as local farmers and community members, hampers also include frozen meat for one meal.

If you’re hoping to donate, WCS has an ongoing ‘top ten list’. Currently they are in need of canned fruit (no pineapple), meal helpers (Hamburger or Tuna Helpers, Sidekicks), beef chunky soup, canned meat (turkey, ham, chicken), apple juice (family size), sugar, shampoo, laundry soap, ketchup/mayo and jam/cheese whiz.

“The best way to think of it is, if you would put it in your grocery cart someone will take it in their hamper. We ask that people check the expiry dates from items they donate from their cupboards as expired items are not put on our shelves,” said Reed.

This year, WCS is teaming up with the Township of Woolwich Fire Department to do a ‘Fire to Foodbank’ day during the campaign on March 28 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Elmira’s Foodland, Food Basics and Shoppers Drug Mart.

“Bring your kids out to meet our local firefighters and drop a food donation into the newly made bins,” Reed said.

In the spirit of giving, two grade twelve Elmira District Secondary School students, Abby Hanley and Chantal McMurray have coordinated and will be building bins for the food to be collected, using donated supplies from JL’s Duke St. Home Building Centre.

Although this campaign is running now, the need for grocery items is crucial year round as there is no stopping of the hamper program. Bins are located year round at Foodland and Food Basics, or  can be dropped off at WCS office at 5 Memorial Ave., Elmira.WCS says to look for the Food Bank of Waterloo Region’s bags found in the mail the week of March 28, these can be filled and dropped off at their location to be used locally.

The Woolwich Community Services spring food and fund drive runs March 23 until April 6.

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