Volunteers collect items for the annual Stratford and area food drive on Sunday. Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
STRATFORD - Citizens outdid their generosity from last year in the annual Stratford and area food drive yesterday.
The drive saw 14 pallets of food donated Sunday afternoon, which will go to the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry soup kitchen and food bank.
That's up from last year's approximate 11 pallets, said co-ordinator Elaine Fraser
"They really did show their generosity...It is great seeing that every year it gets better," she said. "But, at the same time, every year the need gets bigger too."
Food donated included cereal, canned goods, pasta, soups and peanut butter among other items.
Food bank manager Mike MacDonald added the food will help the organization cope during its busiest time of the year, the lead up to Christmas and following winter months.
"It's even busier than in past years," said MacDonald. "It's a difficult time of the year for us, but fortunately it's also a good time of the year for us with the donations coming in."
MacDonald added that the drive is never possible without the volunteers who do the work of planning the drive, picking up collection boxes and donations.
"We're fortunate people give up a couple hours and help us out," said MacDonald. "They certainly have a huge impact on us."
The drive is organized by Our Lady of Assumption parish in Stratford but is now non-denominational.
Fraser said the drive saw at least 175 volunteeers, which included individuals, groups of families, and Catechism students, collect items from 32 routes and 35 apartment buildings.
"It makes you feel good as a co-ordinator not only to see the results but to see that people had a good time doing it," said Fraser, adding that the drive also received a significant amount of monetary donations.
Fraser added that anyone who planned on donating but missed the drive are welcome to drop off items at the food bank location at 33 Belmont St. in Charlottetown or at the Our Lady of Assumption Parish.