Sault MPP David Orazietti visited Maitland Ford Lincoln early Monday to donate a bag generously stuffed with non-perishable food items as the local vehicle dealership continues its campaign to help the Sault’s hungry.
Maitland Ford Lincoln is working with several local schools during the month of October to raise donations in support of local food banks through WE Scare Hunger an action-based campaign to help end local hunger.
“Donations of food have been fantastic,” said Judith Kovala, Maitland Ford Lincoln dealership operations manager.
There will be WE Scare Hunger drop off locations at Pino’s Get Fresh Foods at 219 Trunk Road October 29 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as the Maitland Ford Lincoln lobby Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. through to October 31.
Community members will be entered into a draw for a chance to win a $100 gift card for The Mill Steakhouse and Wine Bar for each non-perishable food item donated.
“We’ve already been at Rome’s (October 19 and 20, as well as at Pino’s October 22) and we’ve already filled two trucks, the backs and the cab interiors with food donations, and these are big trucks,” Kovala told SooToday.
“When people come by the lobbies of the grocery stores we have students from St. Mary’s College, Sault College, St. Mary’s French Immersion and Holy Family School there, and these are all schools that are associated with the Free the Children Me to We program.
As part of the Free the Children program, the WE Scare Hunger program is held every October.
This marks the third consecutive year Maitland Ford Lincoln has been involved in the program.
“We really love the concept, that we can get right into the grassroots level of the community and make a difference, to work with the schools in collecting food donations, and we have the trucks to get the food delivered to the local food banks…it’s really opened our staff’s eyes to the need in our city,” Kovala said.
Maitland Ford Lincoln trucks have collected donated food items at drop off points and delivered them to St. Mary’s College.
After St. Mary’s College students have sorted and boxed the food items, four Maitland Ford Lincoln trucks will collect them November 1 and deliver the goods to St. Vincent Place, the Soup Kitchen Community Centre, Pauline’s Place, Women In Crisis, Salvation Army and Sault College (which has a food bank for its students).
Students from participating schools will also be doing a paper bag drop (the paper bags provided by Stone’s Office Supply) to local homes throughout today and this evening.
a large number of students from the schools will walk door to door to pick up the bags
Residents are encouraged to place non-perishable items in the bags.
A large number of students from the schools will walk door to door to pick up the bags which will then be picked up by Maitland Ford Lincoln staff in the dealership’s Scare Hunger trucks October 27, after 3 p.m.
“We’re asking residents just to leave the bags out in a place where we can pick them up so we don’t have to disturb them,” Kovala said.
“We’re hoping to do paper bag drops at 500 to 600 homes in the neighbourhoods that are around the schools that are participating.”
Items in high demand include personal hygiene products, cereal, kids’ snacks, canned potatoes, fish and vegetables, spices and white sugar.
Kovala said some students plan to ask for donations of non-perishable food items for the campaign when out for Halloween October 31.
“I’m pleased to be here at Maitland Ford to support the food drive, and I want to thank everyone here for organizing this,” Orazietti said.
“This is a great cause, especially at this time of year when many families are struggling in advance of the Christmas season.”
“While there are many government programs to provide assistance and support, programs like WE Scare Hunger are excellent programs to help individuals in Sault Ste. Marie who are needy,” Orazietti said.
Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano dropped off non-perishable food items at Maitland Ford Lincoln Friday, with Sault MP Terry Sheehan tentatively scheduled to drop by with a donation this week.
Food banks are an important method of addressing hunger in Canada.
Each month, over 850,000 people turn to food banks for help, with more than one-third of those being children and youth, according to Food Banks Canada.
“It’s an ongoing need,” Kovala said.