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Local volunteers organize drive through food giveaway in Harrow


by Adam Gault

Another community-driven effort to address food insecurity took place on Sunday, October 25 in Harrow, as volunteers gave away prepared food boxes, generously provided by a number of local sponsors and volunteers.

  From 11am until 2pm, those in need were able to gather at the Harrow Agricultural Hall to benefit from a drive through food giveaway. Those who attended received one of the around 480 prepared food boxes, which contained an assortment of non-perishable food items, in addition to a selection of fresh produce and dairy, and even a pumpkin for families to enjoy on the eve of Halloween.

  The event was organized by local volunteer, Kathy Beaudoin, who’s been involved in supporting area food relief efforts for years. She put together this effort because she noticed the overwhelming demand for food and essential items from nearby projects, including the recently opened Project HOPE Community Food Pantry, which, so far, is being nearly cleared out on a weekly basis. The demand on Project Hope has highlighted the need for more food relief across Essex County and within the Town of Essex.

  “We’re going to arrange another [giveaway] for next month, because there will be a bigger need, because the CERB has run out, and there’s more and more people in need,” Beaudoin said. “We had two drive throughs like this in May and June, and we had 115 people here in Harrow come through. This is six months later, and a lot more people are in need.”

  Beaudoin said she has been blown away by the generosity shown by all sponsors and volunteers, and that through this continued spirit, these exceptional times will be made a little bit easier for those struggling to put food on the table.

  “It’s overwhelming,” Beaudoin explained of the community support she’s received. “You just have to ask people, ‘I need help,’ and they come out. I’m so grateful to them.”

  Another free food drive is being planned for Saturday, October 31 in the McGregor Community Centre parking lot, from 10 am – 1 pm.

  Beaudoin added that anyone seeking more information regarding volunteering or receiving help, can contact her through social media, or contact Essex Ward 4 Councillor Sherry Bondy.

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