More than 1,000 pounds of non-perishable food items and $4,555 were collected during a drive-through food drive at the Aud on Saturday morning.
The event was held in lieu of the annual soup luncheon, organized by the Norfolk County Fair and Simcoe Reformer, which fundraises for local food banks.
Since the beginning of the luncheon, more than $300,000 has been raised, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going directly to local food banks. This year would have been the 14th annual lunch event, but with COVID-19 restrictions in place, a large gathering in the Aud on the fairgrounds would not be possible.
This year, donors were able to pack their donations into their vehicle, and volunteers on site wearing masks and gloves would remove the items and carry them into the Aud to be sorted.
“[It was] a great showing of how our community can pull together to help each other,” George Araujo, general manager of the fair, said. “Amazing work today by volunteers who helped unload and then load up the food to go to all the food banks in Norfolk County.”
All of the donations were being split across the five different food banks in Norfolk. People also had the option to donate money to any food bank of their choice.
One donor who brought money told volunteers that it was to go to whichever food bank needed it the most.
“We weren’t able to have the annual Soup Luncheon, but I’m so proud of how much we raised today and knowing it will make a big difference to those in need,” said Sue Downs, advertising manager at the Simcoe Reformer. “Thank you so much Norfolk County residents for your generosity today.”
Organizers and volunteers were impressed with the turnout of the community, recognizing the pandemic has created a tough year for everyone.
For those in need, a full list of food banks in the Haldimand-Norfolk area is available on the hnhbhealthline.ca website.