All I want for Christmas is…

 

Life’s most basic needs are air, water, food, shelter, and clothing. While there are people all over the world whose most basic needs are not being met, there are also people right here in Dundas County who could use a little help. 

According to Dundas County Food Bank (DCFB) Administrator Donna Quesnel, “donations received at this time of year are extremely important to the Food Bank operations. These donations help enormously with distribution of aid during the winter months when the number of visits is generally high and donations are usually down, understandably.”

At this time, the Food Bank is still in need of the following items: juice and juice boxes; canned fruit and fruit cups for school snacks; canned vegetables; soda crackers; cereal without sugar and without nuts; baby formula; hand soap; toothpaste; and toilet paper.

In addition, Quesnel said that once basic needs are met, the DCFB also tries to provide for baby needs, snacks for children, and toiletries. In addition to formula, baby needs include: junior fruit/vegetables; infant cereals; diapers; and, wipes. Snacks for children include granola bars; crackers with cheese; as well as pudding and fruit cups. 

Additional toiletries like deodorant; shampoo; and so forth are also welcome.

According to Quesnel, “the DCFB mandate is to ‘feed the hungry.’ A five-day emergency food allocation is provided once a month based on number of people in the household.”

Quesnel also provided the Leader with some statistics for the DCFB relating to the past year, from January to the end of November 2011. “The DCFB serves approximately 350 families with approximately 1,500 family visits in one year. This suggests that on average these families would visit the Food Bank on a quarterly basis.”

“Approximately 5,000 people visits are made to the Food Bank in a one-year period. This suggests that the average family size visiting the Food Bank is a three to four person household.”

She continued, adding, “children represent approximately 45 per cent of those served overall by the DCFB, while children represent closer to 50 per cent of those served at the DCFB’s Morrisburg location  and 40 per cent at the Winchester location.”

“The Morrisburg location also tends to serve more people overall, with approximately 55 per cent of people served by the south and 45 per cent by the north. The average family size in the south is slightly greater than in the north.”

DCFB hours are Mondays from 10 a.m. until noon; Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m.; and Thursday afternoons from 1 to 3 p.m.

“During the holiday period, the Food Bank is open: Thursday, December 22nd from 1 to 3 p.m.; Wednesday, December 28th from 7 to 9 p.m.; and Thursday, December 29th from 1 to 3 p.m.”

The two locations are: 17 Second Street in Morrisburg (613-543-0065) and 497 May Street in Winchester (613-774-0188).

To donate, volunteer, or ask for help, please contact one of the listed locations for more information.

“Volunteers are welcome and tours of our Food Bank locations are available on request,” invited Quesnel.

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