LITTLE CURRENT—The Manitoulin Good Food Box program got a welcome shot in the arm recently when the Little Current Tim Hortons store turned over a cheque for $5,618, the proceeds of this year’s Smile Cookie campaign.
“We always want to support local,” said Tim Hortons manager Joe Martin in making the presentation. “Any time we have a chance to support local efforts, we love to do it.”
Tim Hortons back-of-house manager, Debbie Lovelace of Little Current was kept busy throughout the campaign organizing the volunteers and materials.
“This is a very welcome donation,” said Good Food Box board chair Richard Lathwell, whose Loco Lobo farm is the base for the innovative healthy food program.
Mr. Lathwell made note of the incredible work done by Island volunteers who worked tirelessly in the back room of the Tim Hortons location to create the Smile Cookies sold throughout the campaign.
“Our Smile champion was Lianne Hovingh (of Manitowaning) who created 581 cookies,” said Mr. Lathwell. “That’s a lot of cookies.”
“We will be doing this again in May,” said Mr. Martin, who also noted that the Little Current Tim Hortons will be partnering on a larger campaign with Orr’s Valumart in the near future. “So keep an eye out for that,” he said.
Local Food Manitoulin originated about a decade ago as the Child Poverty Task Force initiative on Manitoulin Island, noted Mr. Lathwell. “It is an association of the six Island First Nations communities, a couple of townships, local health authorities and a couple of food producers. The name was changed to Local Food Manitoulin around 2017 when it became clear that the activity had extended beyond the original mandate of the Child Poverty Task Force. It operated as an unincorporated association and Noojmowin Teg Health Centre was the administrative partner. At the end of the last fiscal year, Noojmowin Teg decided to withdraw their services which they did on March 31, 2022 at the end of their fiscal year.”
Mr. Lathwell noted that Local Food Manitoulin (LFM) had a number of operating programs at the time, most notably the Good Food Box program.
“A group of members from the LFM committee met and decided to carry on as an entity and so LFM was incorporated as an Ontario not-for-profit corporation on June 21, 2022,” said Mr. Lathwell. “The new organization is slowly piecing itself together and gradually restarting programs that were paused either because of the organizational change or by the pandemic.”
The Good Food Box program is a community initiative, helping individuals and families in need of assistance to put fresh produce on the table and has been coordinated by Margot Bickell since its inception.
The organization can be reached online at www.localfoodmanitoulin.com/local-food/food-sharing-programs/good-food-box.