Multi-faith food drive collecting donations for Winnipeg Harvest
A multi-faith food drive took place throughout Winnipeg on Saturday to help collect groceries and supplies for Winnipeg Harvest.
“We know that there are so many people in need and if we can just help them get through a few of their tough days even it's all worth it,” said Lubna Usmani from the Manitoba Islamic Association.
Members of the Manitoba Islamic Association (MIA) joined volunteers from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for an annual food drive, which was multi-faith for the first time in all 14 years.
"We feel that we need to pay back to the city, to the community and to help the ones that are in need, and some of them are not so fortunate so we're there to try and help them and that’s our whole purpose," said Rene Bazinet, food drive chair and member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
From June 17 until June 21, volunteers dropped off bags at homes in Fort Garry, North Kildonan, St. James, River Heights and Selkirk.
“What they've done is distributed these yellow bags to 65,000 households and asked people to load them up with groceries for Winnipeg Harvest, and then they've got volunteers circulating around the city to pick up the bags and bring them in,” said Meghan Pesclovitch from Winnipeg Harvest.
On Saturday, volunteers like Alani Butler helped load the food donations into trucks, which will be taken to Winnipeg Harvest.
“I know what they've been through, I've had to go to Harvest so I know how it feels, and it's not a good feeling to not know where you're next meal is going to come from, so I like knowing I've been able to make at least someone’s day a little bit easier,” said Butler.
Winnipeg Harvest provides food for nearly 64,000 Manitobans in need each month, 41 per cent of which are children.
Harvest said the summer months are often slow for donations.
“We notice that during the summer our shelves start to get a little bare so last year this same event generated about a 134,000 pounds of food for Winnipeg Harvest,” said Pesclovitch.
Donations from this year’s food drive will be matched by Peak of the Market.
According to Winnipeg Harvest, food bank usage in the province is up almost 58 per cent since 2008.
It says every day in Winnipeg, an average of 540 children require the use of a food bank.
WINNIPEG HARVEST'S TOP 10 MOST-WANTED FOOD ITEMS
- Canned fish and poultry
- Peanut butter
- Canned stew, chili, brown beans
- Canned fruit and vegetables
- Canned spaghetti sauce
- Whole grain pasta
- Baby formula and food
- Canned soup