Saturday’s all-day rain might have slowed down donations, but the Helping Hand Food Bank in Tillsonburg did have a steady flow of traffic in their back alley where food bank volunteers and Kinsmen Club of Tillsonburg volunteers set up to receive the donations.
“The volunteers, who have been here since 8:30 this morning, have had very few breaks, as vehicles have been coming in steady,” said Helping Hand coordinator Dianne Clark.
Drivers who dropped off donations were given Tim Hortons gift cards as a thank you.
“That’s been a nice little perk – come and bring us a donation and we’ll give you a Tim card,” said Clark, thanking the local Tim Hortons.
Saturday’s ‘drive-thru’ food drive coincided with the Oxford OPP Auxiliary ‘Cram A Cruiser’ food drive at Sobeys.
“It really works well together,” said Clark, thanking the OPP Auxiliary and Sobeys.
“Although the weather hasn’t cooperated with us, I would say this has been a good drive. It’s a reminder that everybody wants to help, everybody wants to give, at Christmas time in particular when people think about all of those in need…”
Clark said the need is even greater today than in recent months.
“Some of the ones we are servicing now are more than just our regular clients. They are those who are now in need because of loss of income or loss of job. It could be anybody, it could be your next door neighbour. And I think that’s why this drive has really hit people, particularly because of COVID, because of everybody needing something.”
The 12 Days of Giving food drive will continue Saturday, Dec. 19, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you have not yet made a donation of food – there is still time to ‘make a delivery.’
With about two hours remaining Saturday, the food bank had collected just over 4,000 pounds of food.
Clark is hoping for a similar amount – if not more donations – on the 19th.
“For us, this food drive has been very good. It is certainly helping us get over a hump that we were having, as far as trying to sustain the food bank and keep it going. Simply because of CERB ending, with our appointment system, we’re full every week.”