By Jason Daley
A number of local fundraisers to support the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry food bank continue to take place over the holiday season in the Charlottetown area.
On Nov. 19 volunteers took part in the 27th annual Stratford & Area Food Drive, organized by Our Lady of the Assumption Church. Over 200 volunteers went door-to-door to collect 20 pallets of non-perishable food items and over $1,700 in monetary donations. The final numbers topped last year’s totals of 18.5 pellets and $1,200.
“Despite the weather and so many hockey and ringette tournaments and everything going on, we’re very pleased that it did go up,” said Elaine Fraser, co-ordinator of the event.
Volunteers came from a wide range of areas in the community, including neighbours, hockey teams and catechism classes. Participants hit 35 different routes to collect items and collected boxes of food from 50 apartment buildings.
More chances to help
- The Holiday Hunger 24-Hour Dodgeball Drive will take place at Holland College
- Dec. 8-9.
- For the Holiday Book Bank Program, sponsored by the P.E.I. Public Library Service, all libraries will be accepting new or very gently used children's books. The books will be distributed across the Island through local food banks. Donations are accepted until Dec. 18.
- Anyone can also still bring donated items directly to the food bank at 33 Belmont St. in Charlottetown.
Mike MacDonald, general manager of the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry, remains very pleased with the ongoing success of the food drive.
“It went terrific. It always does. It just seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year,” said MacDonald.
At the Charlottetown Christmas Parade on Nov. 25, 700 pounds of food and just over $200 in monetary donations were collected.
Then on Nov. 26 at Simmons Sports Arena in Charlottetown, Bevan Bros. Plumbing teamed up with Heating and Olympia Electric to host their second annual Holiday Skate and Donate event. Over $1,600 in financial donations and two truckloads of food were collected for the food bank.
Two other fundraisers were held on Nov. 28: a barbecue at Princess Auto in Charlottetown and the Hot Santa Sleepover food drive, put on by HOT 105.5 and Epekwitk Gas Bar.
MacDonald said that last month the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry served almost 1,600 people and 125 families at their food bank. It is expecting at least the same numbers for December.
“December is our busiest time of year. It really doesn’t go down until April or May,” said MacDonald.