Thousands raised for food bank during Windsor Rotary Club’s toll road
WINDSOR, NS —
With the cost of groceries continuing to climb, more and more people are turning to food banks to help put meals on their tables.
That’s why fundraisers, like the annual Windsor Rotary Club’s toll road, play such an important role, says Ashley Hingley, a primary co-ordinator for the Matthew 25 Windsor and District Food Bank.
“If it wasn’t for the Rotary Club, we couldn’t do Christmas here — or we could do very little at Christmas,” said Hingley.
“The money that they raise through the Rotary Club helps pay for the stuff that we purchase for our Christmas baskets.”
On Oct. 15, from 9 am until 3 pm, the Windsor Rotary Club, with volunteers from the Windsor Fire Department, set up along Wentworth Road and collected financial donations, as well as some food items. Rotarian Jonathan DeMont, the event chairperson, said they raised at least $10,000 to donate to the food bank.
“Funds primarily go towards putting Christmas dinners on the tables of those less fortunate in West Hants,” he said, as motorists slowed down to hand whatever cash they could to volunteers.
“The Windsor Fire Department — active members and veterans — have always been an integral part in this,” he added.
Retired firefighter Bob DeMont, centre, and Rotarian Steve Shaw share a laugh with a motorist who was looking to donate towards the Windsor Rotary Club’s toll road fundraiser in support of the food bank on Oct. 15th – Carole Morris-Underhill
Several businesses assisted as well, with Windsor Home Hardware offering the use of the boardroom for counting change, McDonald’s for contributing snacks and refreshments to the volunteers, and Cocoa Pesto Food Shoppe for providing a lunch. Hants West MLA Melissa Sheehy-Richard also volunteered her time collecting donations on the toll road.
“It’s a great fundraiser,” said DeMont.
And it’s a needed fundraiser. Hingley said the money will go towards filling Christmas baskets — providing those in need with a little joy over the holidays. The baskets include breakfast, a light lunch, and a full turkey supper with dessert, plus some small gifts.
“Last year, we were pushing about 240 to 250 in seniors and singles, and I expect (at least) that, if not more, this year,” said Hingley.
Hingley said Hants County Christmas Angels takes care of families at Christmastime, including providing supper. However, seniors and single people don’t qualify under that program, and some families are denied for various reasons. That’s where the food bank comes in, Hingley said.
“We don’t want to see anybody go without a Christmas dinner,” she said.
“We’ve had some clients come in and say this was the only Christmas gift they got that year,” she noted.
“We try to make it nice.”
Hingley said any money leftover from the donation would be put back into stocking the shelves. She said wintertime is particularly difficult for people, and with home heating costs skyrocketing, as well as grocery costs increasing, she’s anticipating more people will be needing help.
“The community has done a lot to help us,” she said. “Unfortunately, I don’t see that need going anywhere other than more and more as the months go on, especially around Christmastime.”
Earlier this year, Hingley said there was a steady demand for their services, with the Windsor-based food bank helping between 400 and 600 clients per month.
Wyatt Juteau, a cadet with the Windsor Fire Department, and Rotarian Steve Shaw were among the people volunteering their time at the Windsor Rotary Club’s annual toll road fundraiser. – Carole Morris-Underhill
How to help
The Matthew 25 Windsor and District Food Bank is located at 90 Sanford Dr., Windsor.
Donations can be dropped off Tuesdays (8 am to 4 pm) and Thursdays (9 am to 4 pm); the phone line opens at noon on both days and pre-arranged food orders can be picked up starting at 12:30 pm
For details on how to help, or to seek help contact 902-798-4313 or visit the Facebook page.
Items wanted: Any non-perishable canned or boxed food; personal hygiene products; pet food; and baking goods. Additionally, cash donations, or donations of fresh fruit and vegetables (like bagged potatoes and carrots) and perishable items, like milk and eggs, should only be dropped off when the food bank is open.