Top News

Major 'drive-thru' food collection being banked on to fill shelves

Robert Gaudet, an employee with the food bank in Charlottetown, fills a box for a family in need. The Y's Men's Club will be holding its major food drive on Oct. 26, but rather than going door to door as usual, people are urged to drop off non-perishable food or monetary donations at locations across P.E.I. and Cornwall.
Robert Gaudet, an employee with the food bank in Charlottetown, fills a box for a family in need. The Y's Men's Club will be holding its major food drive on Oct. 26, but rather than going door to door as usual, people are urged to drop off non-perishable food or monetary donations at locations across P.E.I. and Cornwall. - Jim Day

Mike MacDonald is cautiously optimistic the biggest food drive of the year in P.E.I. will succeed even with a major change resulting from the pandemic.

The Y’s Men’s Club 34th annual food drive on Oct. 26 will be a drive-thru affair this year with people being asked to bring in donations of food to one of 12 locations in Charlottetown or one of three locations in Cornwall.

In the past, an army of volunteers went door to door gathering up offerings of non-perishable items. The drive-thru approach is seen as a safer option this year, says MacDonald, executive director of the Upper Room Food Bank and Soup Kitchen.

He also, naturally, hopes the drive-thru approach will be a successful one.

“We are hoping that Islanders will come to us this year and continue to support us," he says. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed."


Food drop-off sites

The Y’s Men’s Club 34th Annual Food Drive with be a drive-thru edition this year. There will be no collection door to door. Non-perishable food items or monetary donations can be made on Monday, Oct. 26 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at any of the following locations:

In Charlottetown:

  • Winsloe Lions Club (14 Campbell Rd.),
  • West Royalty Community Centre (1 Kirkdale Rd.),
  • Ellen’s Creek Plaza (509 North River Rd.),
  • Charlottetown Farmer’s Market (100 Belvedere Ave.),
  • St. Mark’s Church (7 Tamarac Ave.),
  • Y’s Man Earl Foster (124 St. Peters Rd.),
  • The Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints (10 Northridge Parkway),
  • Malcolm Darrach Centre (1 Avonlea Dr.),
  • Hillsborough Community Centre (199 Patterson Dr.),
  • Upper Room Food Bank (33 Belmont St.)
  • Culinary Institute (4 Sydney St.)
  • Spring Park United Church (65 Kirkwood Dr.).

In Cornwall: 

  • APM Centre (37 Lowther Dr.),
  • Cornwall Lions Club (29 Cornwall Rd.),
  • North River Fire Department (644 Capital Dr.).

Last year, the Y’s Men’s food drive brought in 42 pallets of food, which is a couple months’ worth of meals. That, notes MacDonald, is twice the size of the next biggest food drive.

MacDonald says the pandemic has led to increased client visits at both the food bank and the soup kitchen in Charlottetown.

“Demand has increased substantially right from the middle of March to the end of May," he says. “We’re extremely busy. June and July were also busier than normal."

In September, 598 families came to the food bank to receive free groceries, up from 525 families the same month last year. The soup kitchen normally serves about 70 meals at lunch or supper in the month of September, but the average was closer to 100 this past September.

MacDonald is anticipating demand to be high at the food bank this winter as well and is hoping the upcoming food drive will leave the shelves brimming over.

“We want to be in a position to help as many people as possible," he says. “There’s a lot of unknowns but we certainly need it to be a success."

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories