Rain, snow, sleet, and the threat of hail could not deter a handful of brave and noble young students from making their appointed rounds delivering cases of food, drink, and necessities to the Clifford Food Bank last month.
Program and fundraising director Leisha Zamecnik, of the Meal Exchange Program, and teams of students from the University of Guelph left at 8am to distribute donations to 19 food banks in their area.
With the Meal Exchange skip-a-meal program, students donate their points for the meal they choose to skip. Those points collect over time and are exchanged for cases of food that are purchased at discounted rates through the university. At various times over the year, students pack vans and deliver the goods. They have broken their own national record of $26,400 worth of food from the skip-a-meal program.
Bruce and Margaret Shannon, Marion Agla, and Sharon Kaufman assisted Leisha and Jai Sharma, Bailey Gould, Bailey Simmons, Daniele Magditsch, and Aubrey Delong unload to the storage room. The room was quickly filled with cans, boxes, and bags of food bank staples.
The students stayed to visit and enjoy refreshments and learn more about the need in the Clifford area. That food bank is set up to respond to local emergencies. It is not a distribution centre where people come in to choose what they like off the shelf. It is not intended to replace weekly or monthly shopping.
There has been an increase in demand lately. Any financial setback attributed to poor health, being unable to work, the loss of a job, or even back-to-school costs could cause someone to call. They may need to call only once or they may need a supply of food every month until they get back on their feet.
A first-time caller leaves a message at 327-8588 and a volunteer will call to find out the particulars – how many adults, the number and age of children, and any food allergies.
A pick-up time is arranged and an assortment of boxes and bags are delivered to their vehicles or carts.
This year, close to 20 Christmas hampers will be prepared with an extra 50 pound bag of potatoes on the side, donated by a farmer eager to share. Bailey was amazed to know that 2,500 pounds of potatoes had been donated.
The students were appreciative of the hospitality and thoroughly enjoyed the snacks compliments of Elizabeth Bott.
After assessing the weather that continued to howl with wintry passion, they opted to stay their course and proceed to the last destination before heading home.