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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Goodfellows newspaper campaign raises over $52,000 for local food banks

- four local food banks received $13,000 each -

Volunteers with the Essex Region Goodfellows presented $13,000 cheques to representatives of each of the four beneficiaries – the Harrow St. Vincent de Paul, the McGregor St. Vincent de Paul, the Essex Salvation Army, and the Essex Area Food Bank – during the annual meeting last Tuesday evening.

by Sylene Argent

With the holiday season being a busy time of year for local food banks, volunteers with the Essex Region Goodfellows were pleased to present $13,000 to each the Harrow St. Vincent de Paul, the McGregor St. Vincent de Paul, the Essex Salvation Army, and the Essex Area Food Bank last Tuesday evening. The donations were made during the Essex Region Goodfellows’ annual meeting, which was held at Essex Fire Station #1.

  The donations were collected during a very successful 2019 Newspaper Campaign. On Friday, November 15 and Saturday, November 16, local firefighters and OPP officers took to various major intersections throughout the Municipality of Essex to collect donations for the Essex Region Goodfellows through its annual Newspaper Campaign. In addition, athletes with the Essex 73’s and students from Essex District High School collected donations at various storefronts.

  Thanks to great community support, the Essex Region Goodfellows was able to collect over $52,000. This means the four area food banks each received $13,000, which surpassed the donation from the previous year. In 2018, each of the four food banks received $12,000.

  Christine Hayes, Treasurer of the Essex Region Goodfellows, noted each collection area was up a little bit from the previous year, but the largest increase came from McGregor.

  Lonnie Jones, a Director with the Essex Area Food Bank, was pleased to receive the donation. He noted the funds received through the Essex Region Goodfellows will support the Essex Area Food Bank’s Christmas Basket program. It will also support other needs food bank clients may have, and its move from its present location at the Sun Parlour Junior Public School to its new location at Essex United Church.

  Currently, Jones said, the Essex Area Food Bank serves between 50-60 individuals each of the two days it is operational per week. Each individual served represents an average of three individuals as those who come in to utilize the food bank’s services are typically picking up items for their family members as well.

  Mark LaBute of the Harrow Chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul noted the community is very generous and that the donation his organization receives from the Essex Region Goodfellows goes a long way in supporting the 50-60 families it serves every month. The funds will also support its Christmas Basket program.

  “It truly is a community effort,” LaBute said. “We count on you guys every year.”

  Christopher Clark of the McGregor Chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul also thanked the volunteers with the Essex Region Goodfellows for the donation. Without its annual support, he said this organization would only be able to provide dry and non-perishable food donations to the families it serves.

  The Essex Salvation Army also received a donation. The funds will go towards its Christmas Toy and Hamper campaign, in addition to additional programs and services offered through the church or its food bank throughout the year.

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