The Helping Hand Food Bank of Bradford relies on community volunteers and donors to provide food security to individuals and families who are on limited income or suffering financial hardship.
At its annual general meeting, held Monday at the Danube Seniors Leisure Centre, the food bank’s president Anne Silvey thanked those volunteers for their dedication, and donors for their ongoing support.
“We really, really appreciate all the donations we get through the year,” Silvey said. “I would like to thank you all for your dedication to the food bank — all of our board, all of our volunteers. We have become very successful because you all do a good job.”
From screening food bank clients, to sorting donations and restocking the shelves, volunteers make it possible for the food bank to open three days a week, Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 2 p.m. and Fridays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., at 123 Moore St.
There are many food bank donors, including Costco, which donates day-old baked goods, No Frills, Zehrs and Walmart, which provide food and cash, Pet Valu, and local schools, churches and service clubs.
The Back Alley Cruisers also collected $5,600 in cash at its pre-snow car show last year, and filled two trucks with non-perishable food donations.
The South Simcoe Police Service has crammed cruisers with food drives, and Bradford Greenhouses’ annual Good Friday Easter Egg Hunt collects non-perishable food donations from the families who arrive to meet the Easter Bunny.
Local farmers also share fresh produce, helping to augment the canned and dried goods on the shelves.
The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury “is No. 1” as a donor, said food bank executive member Alvin Belanger.
The town provides and maintains the Moore St. facility free of charge, helping make it possible for the food bank to hand out more than $10,000 in food to local families every month.