“There are a lot of people in need right now. So many are out of work and going through tough times, so we want to help out as much as possible”

Article by Al Rivett

A Colborne service club is stepping up with a local grocery store to ensure the shelves at the local food bank are stocked for those in need in the community.

The Rotary Club of Colborne is hosting the Rotary Easter Food Drive at the Colborne Foodland on March 27. Members of the Rotary Club will be on hand that day, collecting non-perishable food items along with cash donations to be donated to the Cramahe/Colborne Foodbank.

Colborne Rotary president Cathie Robins noted club members organized a similar food drive before Christmas in conjunction with Colborne Foodland owners Peter and Tanya Armstrong. The day was a success with more than 100 prepared bags of food and cash donated to the food bank. 

The club is hoping for similar success on March 27.

“There are a lot of people in need right now. So many are out of work and going through tough times, so we want to help out as much as possible,” said Robins. 

Robins says she knows the plight of many in the community as she has offered on several occasions to drive home groceries for those attending the food bank. The need is real and is even more acute because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A lot of people depend on (the food bank) in this day and age. There are a lot of working poor out there so to speak,” she said.

Robins said the Rotary club is grateful for the support of the Colborne Foodland which will once again host club members on March 27. 

“They will have pre-packaged bags that people can buy and donate to the food bank. Foodland is a great community supporter. We’re so fortunate to have them on board,” said Robins. 

For their part, Tanya Armstrong said she and her husband are happy to support the Rotary club’s community initiative for the food bank.

“Colborne seems to be in need as well as the whole province and the whole country. It’s been a struggle for some this year, so we’re glad to do anything we can do to help.

“We’re always involved with the food bank and the food bank drives. We collect food and cash donations from the community and once a month we give (the food bank) a gift card,” she added.

The Colborne Foodland, she said, organizes prepared bags of food at $5, $10 and $20 each with pre-determined items in each bag including peanut butter, spaghetti and spaghetti sauce, to name a few, which can then be purchased and turned over to the food bank.

She noted the Colborne community has a good heart, with numerous individuals making cash donations through the store.

“We have a few anonymous customers who quietly give cash for gift cards to give to the food bank. One gentleman said he wanted (his donation) to go to a single mom and her children. There are quite a few people in the community who go above and beyond.”

As a further example of the Colborne community pulling together, several organizations, including members of the Rotary, Probus Club, Friends of Colborne Creek, the Lions Club of Colborne and Masonic Lodge #91, helped deliver grocery items from the store to vulnerable people who didn’t feel safe during the first wave of the pandemic, she said.

Robins said there is no goal in mind for Rotary’s Easter Food Drive in terms of cash or food donations. “The sky is the limit. We just want to help the people who are less fortunate.”

The Rotary Easter Food Drive event was billed as going from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on March 27, but Robins said Rotary members are going to work in shifts to enable the food drive to continue until 6 p.m. that day.

The Colborne Foodland is at 25 Toronto St.

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