Great Holiday Food Drive More Than Great for Port Cares
(December 10, 2021 - PORT COLBORNE) The festive spirit is alive and well in the Port Colborne community as organizations came together for Port Cares and the Great Holiday Food Drive today, resulting in about $10,000 for the agency.
The annual initiative put on by the Bell Media Group - 610 CKTB, 97.7 HTZFM and 105.7FM - typically rallies together to support food banks and support services in St. Catharines, but this year included groups region-wide, recognizing the struggles these groups are facing since the pandemic.
“When we got the call from Tom McConnell from CKTB about the Great Holiday Food Drive including us this year, we were thrilled,” said Christine Clark Lafleur, executive director of Port Cares. “The inclusivity and awareness are much appreciated as we need the help more than ever before.”
Since the onset of the pandemic, Port Cares has had a 38 percent increase in people accessing their services. They’re helping more people than ever before, with less opportunities for fundraising and altered services.
Part of the day’s festivities included 50 cents from any size coffee or tea sold at McDonald’s in Port Colborne going to the agency’s Reach Out Centre and Food Bank. A total amount will be announced next week. Staff at the location also collected 157.5 pounds of food over the past few weeks for today.
Port Cares’ elves were at Melina’s Family Restaurant in Port from 7am to 1pm for a Food Drive Breakfast. An overflowing bin collected 188.5 pounds of food, one dollar from every breakfast served went to the agency, as well as sales from baked goods that staff prepared in the Reach Out Centre kitchen.
- 50/50 tickets sales - $1,800
- Donations and baked goods - $600
- Breakfast sales was $170, then matched by Melina to total $340
“Melina and her staff were absolutely wonderful and it was so generous of her to host this event for us,” said Clark Lafleur. “And Laurie Katz, the owner of the Port Colborne McDonald’s has been an amazing supporter for the agency. We couldn’t do what we do without business owners like this. We appreciate it even more, knowing that business owners have also had a tough time during the pandemic, but still come through for organizations like ours.”
To top off the already incredible day, Jeff Millejours, manager at the Port Colborne Food Basics asked Port Cares to come collect a large donation.
He presented Amanda Upper, supervisor of the Reach Out Centre with a cheque for $5,205 and $1,391.89 in Metro gift cards. The money was collected from customers who donated two dollars at the till over the past month. Metro then contributed 25 percent of that in gift cards that the agency can use to buy emergency food for their meal program and food bank.
Metro Inc’s Out of Reach Holiday Program is underway again, collecting donations until Christmas Eve for Port Cares.
“We’re proud and excited to see this initiative keep all of the donated funds locally,” said Millejours. “Not every franchise would do that. Every dollar raised in Port Colborne goes to our charity of choice - Port Cares – because they do so many wonderful things for this community.”
All in all, the day totalled $9,336.89 in dollars raised, plus dollars collected from McDonalds – tbc.
Boggio’s Pharmacy in Port has also started collecting donations at the till for Port Cares.
The umbrella organization that helps over 1,700 registered individuals a month is in high gear for the holiday season.
Their fifth online 50/50 draw is underway since December 1, already selling over $28,000 worth of tickets.
Starting this Sunday until December 23, there are early bird draws for the 12 Days of Giveaways. Each prize is worth $100 or more and have all been donated by local retailers like Pet Valu, Food Basics, Napa Auto, Canadian Tire and more. All draws take place at 2:00pm.
The big cash draw takes place at 2:00pm on January 1st and the winner is guaranteed to take home at least $5,000.
Winners from all early bird prizes are still eligible to win half the pot on New Year’s Day.
Port Cares’ mission is to help those in our community with social and economic needs improve their quality of life. Port Cares’ vision is to provide help, hope and opportunity for all to achieve their potential.