Typically busy in the run-up to Thanksgiving, Woolwich Community Services faces even larger demands due to the coronavirus situation.
More than ever, the organization is relying on the generosity of residents to restock the shelves of its food bank. The annual Thanksgiving food drive is now underway, running until the end of the month.
“The top-10 items this year are canned fruit, apple juice, sidekicks/meal helpers, canned pasta, mayonnaise/ketchup, chicken noodle soup/cream of mushroom soup, hot cereal, crackers, Kleenex and laundry detergent,” said WCS’s Lisa Martin.
This year there are four drop-off locations: Foodland in Elmira, Food Basics Elmira, Woolwich Community Services and the Woolwich Community Thrift Shop. In addition to food, WCS is also accepting cash donations and offering tax receipts for sums $10 and up.
The drive’s goal is to benefit low-income families, says Martin.
“We are offering more variety of our programs. Since March, or since COVID started, we have significantly increased (usage) and have more consistency with the usage of our programs, so numbers are definitely up.”
Another event WCS is hosting this month is their annual bowl-a-thon. Traditionally, the event takes place at Elmira Bowl, which has now closed. Finding another location wasn’t on the agenda due to COVID-19, forcing the group to change the format altogether.
“The fall family FUNdraiser is in support of our family violence and prevention program,” said Leigh-Anne Quinn, “Normally, each fall we hold a bowl-a-thon in support of the family violence prevention program, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic we have alternatives to try to provide several different options for people.”
This year there are three ways people can participate. The first way is people can gather two to eight members of their social bubble and book a time slot at WCS to play Wii Bowling in the community room.
“People still raise pledges for the program and it’s just an hour of fun Wii bowling,” said Quinn.
The second option is to participate in the ‘virtual photo/video of a fall fun activity.’
“Send us a photo or a video of you connecting with your family, friends or coworkers… some ideas include eating a meal together, doing an activity together, or just simply capturing being together.” Submissions are to be sent firstname.lastname@example.org by Oct. 16 to be shared through social media.
The final way people can participate is by simply pledging financial support.
“For those who don’t want to do either of those options but still want to raise money for the program, they can raise pledges only, and everyone who raises pledges will get a ballot for a grand prize,” she explained.
More information can be found online.