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Community rallies for Mount Pearl food banks

Demand is greater at local food banks in this struggling economy. — Pam Frampton/The Telegram
Demand is greater at local food banks in this struggling economy. — Telegram file photo

Door-to-door food drive set for Saturday

On Saturday a collection of community groups in Mount Pearl will canvas the city to collect donations for two community food banks in need.

The food banks at St. Peter’s Parish and Mary Queen of the World Parish have run low on supplies, even as more people are coming through the doors, according to Con Milmore with the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

“We’re getting two to three new people almost every week,” Milmore, who runs the food bank at St. Peter’s Parish, said on behalf of the society.

Contacted by The Telegram on Tuesday, he said his food bank usually gets enough in donations around the Christmas holiday to get through to at least the Mount Pearl City Days in late July, when there’s another run of donations. But it’s been a tough year.

He said he’s thankful for anything that might come this weekend — with volunteers going door to door. Anyone who won’t be home can leave donations at their door, marked “food drive,” for collection. The Mount Pearl Dominion, Sobeys and Coleman’s stores will all have volunteer collections at their stores, according to information provided to The Telegram.

People can volunteer with the food drive by simply showing up at St. David’s field at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

“I’ll take anything that we can get. I’m not going to say any one item (we need) because basically we need it all,” Milmore said.

Aside from individual donations of food and grocery items, Milmore said the St. Peter’s Parish food bank will go through $3,000 to $3,500 every month in expenses, including bulk purchases of milk, sugar, tea bags and other essentials.

He estimated the location served 134 families in May, with the city’s other food bank serving more again.

Residents and community groups have already responded to the identified need for donations, he said. Collections are ongoing at local schools, businesses have stepped up, sports teams have asked for contributions and non-profit groups have issued calls for contributions.

“I must say the outpouring of support so far is overwhelming,” Milmore said.

The food banks in Mount Pearl are not the only operations looking for additional support in recent weeks. Donations for food banks throughout the province can be directed to the Community Food Sharing Association.

Supporting the cause

A collection of community groups, private businesses and individuals has been gathering what they can to contribute to the Mount Pearl food banks.

• The Mount Pearl Sport Alliance donated proceeds from sales of 50-50 draw tickets at their Chase the Ace fundraiser this week to St. Vincent de Paul, amounting to almost $6,000.

• Collections have been held by students at O’Donel High School, Mount Pearl Synchronized Swimming at their Summer Water Show, Mount Pearl Seniors’ Independence Group at their year-end dinner and dance, and the Mount Pearl Men’s Slowpitch Softball League at their weekend tournament.

• Local businesses have stepped up. The Sweet Newfie Kitchen on Park Avenue offered free fries and a chance to win a cake from Toni’s Sugar Shack with a donation to the food bank (the cake was awarded on June 10 to a customer), while Larry’s Tax Service in Mount Pearl gave a direct donation of $500.

• There are ongoing collections at Mount Pearl Senior High and St. Peter’s Primary.

• Local Kinettes, Lions Club members, Shriners and church groups have volunteered for the weekend blitz.

(Source: MHA Paul Lane and Con Milmore.)

Related link:
Community Food Sharing Association — Ways to help

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