Helping the neighbours

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Rural Lambton’s biggest food drive launched

It’s being billed as the largest food drive in rural Lambton.

A group of community volunteers has launched Neighbour2Neighbour-Lambton County’s Biggest Rural Food Drive.

Al Broad, the mayor of Dawn-Euphemia who is one of the volunteers, says on Nov. 7, volunteers will fan out across rural Lambton to collect canned food and non-perishables to distribute to local food programs. Broad says Sarnia already has several large well-established food drives and the volunteers want to make sure the rural food programs are also well stocked.

“We’re asking people across rural Lambton to help people struggling to put food on the table during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Broad told Lambton County councillors Wednesday.

“It doesn’t matter how big or small the donation is, we hope neighbours will help out their neighbours.”

The food drive is modeled after the highly-successful May 16 Miracle in Chatham-Kent. A group of community volunteers concerned about those struggling in the pandemic came up with a food drive that would be easy for people to participate in without people gathering.

Like Chatham-Kent, Broad says the committee is seeking the help of Lambton Public Health to create safety protocols for the volunteers helping out on Nov. 7.
Broad says volunteers will be asked to work with people in their households and wear masks as they collect the canned goods.

Chatham-Kent’s drive brought in 680,000 pounds of food. Broad isn’t sure how much food can be gathered in rural Lambton. “I think we all know food banks in Lambton County opened their doors to more people since the pandemic began.”

“Donations aren’t as plentiful this year because many churches and community groups simply aren’t meeting because of COVID-19,” Broad says. “We’re encouraging everyone to think about how they can contribute to this food drive.”

The group has created a website – www.n2nfooddrive.com – where volunteers can sign up to help in their community. The website and social media will be used to explain what donations are most needed and to issue challenges to different parts of the community.

Broad is hoping Lambton residents will support the food drive and help their neighbours.

“We know there are people in our community that have lost their jobs or who aren’t working as many hours and they need our help. This is a very simple and effective way to do that.”