The United Native Friendship Centre's food bank received a huge donation last week after a very successful collection campaign by the local BDO Canada office.
The donation was presented to the UNFC last Thursday as staff carried the two truckloads of food up a flight of stairs at the UNFC office and tried to fit it all on a large table.
The donation, which also included more than $1,000 in cash for the food bank, resulted from the “Drive Away Hunger” campaign, the largest employee-led food drive in Canada with 100 percent of the donations directly benefiting local food banks.
Here in Fort Frances, BDO staff delivered flyers door-to-door to inform residents about the campaign and ask for donations.
The flyers instructed people to set out non-perishable food items with the flyer attached on the morning of Oct. 12 to be collected by BDO employees.
Out of the 73 BDO offices across Canada that participated in the campaign, Fort Frances placed ninth overall, which they are extremely proud of considering they are a smaller office.
UNFC Homelessness Outreach Workers Deb Emes and Jenn Kivimaki were on hand Thursday morning to accept the donation, and were overwhelmed by the generosity as both repeatedly expressed their gratitude.
The pair admitted they weren't intimidated by having to sort the items because they just were so happy to have it for the food bank.
They also noted it was really helpful to receive the donation as the food bank heads into the Christmas season, when it is utilized most.
“Words cannot express how thankful we are of the generosity of BDO and the community through their donations of both food and monetary contributions to the UNFC food bank,” said Kivimaki.
“It is with these donations that we are able to provide support to individuals and families in this community,” echoed Emes.
UNFC executive director Sheila McMahon also was very pleased with the donation.
She noted accessibility is important for the food bank (which is why it operates four days a week year-round) and stressed that without the support of the community and organizations like BDO, they would have to close their doors.
“From January to September, we have helped 400 families in our community so we really thank you for your generous donations,” McMahon said.
The BDO team also collected $1,860, and many more non-perishable food items, during a day at Cloverleaf Grocery in Emo to be donated to the food bank there.