MANITOULIN—The need for food banks among families and individuals is substantial at all times of the year, including the Manitoulin Family Resources (MFR) Help Centre, says a representative of MFR. With the Christmas season closing in, the Help Centre is hoping for support of the Manitoulin community to help stock the same number of Christmas food baskets as were provided on the Island in 2016.
“We prepare Christmas baskets for families and individuals all over the Island to help people in need,” said Nicole Mathia, MFR Help Centre assistant, late last week. “These baskets include such items as ham, turkeys, mandarins, potatoes and other foods. And we receive toys to include in the baskets from the Lions Club.”
“We filled and provided 800 Christmas food baskets last year, and are anticipating a similar number this year,” said Ms. Mathia. Other organizations and groups help across the Island support the initiative with the District Services Board EMS for example to hold a stuff an ambulance event in Little Current. As well schools within the Rainbow District School Board are holding a collection day November 30 to help out all food banks in their area, including Manitoulin Island.
“We set up boxes in grocery stores in various locations (around Manitoulin) for food donations,” said Ms. Mathia. “The schools will often do food drivers on our behalf, at Christmas and other times. Teachers will sometimes initiate classroom projects. Last year the Island schools combined to do a stuff a bus collectively in addition to those things. In addition, many of our local churches and community groups self-initiate donations from their group.”
“We will have a food bank day where the Christmas food baskets are filled to be given to families in need,” said Ms. Mathia.