For the fourth year in a row, Habitat for Humanity Niagara ReStores are asking customers to bring in a non-perishable food item between September 25 and October 5 in exchange for a coupon for 25% off their entire purchase.
Food donations will be distributed to local food agencies, with each ReStore supporting a different food bank in their area: the St. Catharines location is collecting for Community Care of St. Catharines & Thorold, the Grimsby location for the GBF Community Services, and the Fonthill location for The Hope Centre.
“We started the food drive back in 2020, when our local food agencies and support organizations were facing unprecedented challenges because of COVID,” explains Mark Carl, CEO of Habitat Niagara. “But with rising inflation and the increasing cost of living post-pandemic, our community food banks continue to struggle to meet demand. We’re asking anyone who can spare some extra groceries to bring them into the ReStore and we’ll ensure they get to those who need them.”
Items of greatest need include:
- Canned meat
- Hearty soups & stews
- School-safe snacks
- Canned fruit
- Canned vegetables
- Pasta & pasta sauce
- Packaged side dishes (i.e Sidekicks)
“As many in our community have experienced first-hand for the first time this year, the need in our community continues to increase,” says Betty-Lou Souter, CEO of Community Care of St. Catharines and Thorold. “As prices rise, our service numbers increase in turn – we see an average of 65 new clients registering with us each week, with an average of 1,800 registered clients utilizing our services weekly.”
It’s a similar story in other parts of the Niagara Region.
“More people than ever are facing food insecurity in Welland this year,” says Jon Braithwaite, CEO of the Hope Centre. “The Hope Centre has seen a 78% increase in visits to our food bank this year, with 1,300 Welland residents visiting for the first time. This is not a problem we can solve on our own; however, thanks to caring organizations like Habitat for Humanity Niagara who host food drives in support of our food bank, we can at least weather the storm.”
“GBF Community Services is excited to be partnering with Habitat for Humanity Niagara and the Grimsby ReStore again this year for the “Restore Our Community Food Drive,” says Megan Kools, Food Program Manager at GBF. “GBF is servicing more clients than ever before with over 6,000 visits to our Food Bank so far this year. This food drive will help keep our Food Bank shelves stocked and prepared to address the increasing needs in our community.”
Last year the ReStores collected a combined 1,563 pounds of food, a number they’re hoping to surpass this year
Donations can be dropped off between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Saturday at any ReStore location:
- Grimsby: 185 South Service Road
- Fonthill: 2499 Highway 20
- St. Catharines: 150 Bunting Road
The food drive runs from September 25 to October 5.
For more information, please visit www.habitatniagara.ca.