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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Harrow United collects 823lbs of food for Downtown Mission

by Sylene Argent Last Friday, volunteers with Harrow United Church hosted a community-wide food drive from the Church’s parking lot to collect essential non-perishable items for the Downtown Mission.   Because of the tremendous support from the community, 823lbs of food was collected.   Pastor Darrow Woods said members of the Church’s congregation typically donate food items during Sunday services for the Harrow Chapter of the St. Vincent de Paul. With the current disruption in Sunday masses, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the Church decided to figure out a creative way to help out those in need.   Volunteers, with masks on, received food and cheque donations last Friday morning, over a two-hour duration. Those making the donations were able to stay in their cars, and simply pop open their trunks to transfer the goods.   “People have been coming through. They just want to help,” Woods said from the Church parking lot last Friday. “It makes me feel good about how humans are helping [each other] and humanity in this weird time.”   Woods noted Harrow United contacted the Harrow St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank, and was told the local food distribution service was not in need of food donations at this time, but is accepting gift cards for the families and individuals it looks after. That is why these donations will head to the Downtown Mission.   This food drive follows a previous event hosted around Easter, where Harrow United was able to collect over 500lbs of food.     “We are helping people who are not nearly as well off as us,” Woods said of the food drive, which “aligns with what our Church does all the time.”   He said the Church collects thousands of pounds of food for food banks every year. “People are so generous.”   Woods also spoke of a member of the Harrow United Church congregation, who has been making masks for those who need them during the COVID-19 pandemic. She was providing the mask in exchange for donations. He said this crafter was able to raise $100 in doing this, which she donated.   These acts of kindness are, “Ways to keep spirits up,” Woods said, adding he and many members of the congregation are also staying connecting with those on a call list to ensure everyone keeps connected during this uncertain time.   As Church services in person have been suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic, those wishing to watch a service can do so via


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