Jim McKenna of the Pictou East Food Bank begins to weigh food as vol. Jason Eastman looks on
The food drive for the local foodbanks spearheaded by Tim Hortons with assistance from The News and CKEC was a huge success Wednesday with the equivalent of more than 34,000 pounds of food coming in.
Jim Shaw, owner of the Pictou County Tim Hortons locations said they were happy with the results, which exceeded last year’s amount by about 4,000 pounds.
“There were people coming right up until the last minute,” he said.
He said he’s thankful for the support the community has shown and for the contributions from CKEC and The News in helping to promote the event.
This year The News delivered bags to every household for individuals to fill and drop off and CKEC ran ads encouraging businesses to do their own food drive and bring it to the drop off location at the Aberdeen Business Centre on Wednesday.
The result was a steady stream of donations throughout the day from both individuals and businesses.
One of the large corporate donations came from the Pictou County Health Authority, which brought in two truck loads of goods weighing around 2,000 pounds as well as a sizeable monetary donation.
“We decided we would put a challenge out to the whole health authority so all programs, all sites and we only gave folks a week, so departments registered and collected,” said Eileen MacIsaac, spokesperson for the PCHA. “The incentive prize was the senior leadership team will provide a coffee break for the team with the largest amount collected. The response has been excellent.”
She said they received contributions from Sutherland Harris MacDonald in Pictou, Addiction Services in Pictou, the Aberdeen Hospital as well as their community based services that are on East River Road.
“Everybody contributed so it was a nice way to start out the Christmas season,” she said.
Jim McKenna, a board member with the Pictou County Food Bank said it was great to see the community rally behind this fundraiser particularly after so many had just given to the Christmas Fund Telethon which was held over the weekend.
“You see 80,000 raised there and a week later you have a big turnout here for people in need,” McKenna said. “I’m from here and I work here but it never ceases to amaze me just what you see as far as people giving to make sure people don’t go without.”
He said it was encouraging particularly to see the support from businesses big and small from an insurance company who arrived first thing to the RCMP and YMCA who made sure to contribute.
“We were very fortunate to have what we’ve had,” he said.
Shaw said they expect to hold the event again next year and continue to grow it.
“It takes a couple years for a program to become familiar with,” he said. “I think this year some people were expecting it.”