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Palmerino pledges to help hometown

In Thorold and Pelham, Joe Palmerino has been helping the most vulnerable members of society for five years.
Entrepreneur and Thorold resident Joe Palmerino. Cathy Pelletier / Thorold News

Throughout his five-year stint as store manager, Joe Palmerino has championed the cause of Community Care in his hometown of Thorold, along with countless charities in Pelham.

And while continuously supporting the residents, elementary school students and other organizations that surround his Giant Tiger Store in the Fonthill Shopping Centre, Palmerino—a lifelong Thorold resident—has been a steadfast contributor to Community Care, said Thorold Branch Manager, Maxine Hutchings.

“Over the years he has generously provided us with gift cards, food and clothing donations for our food program and Thrift Shop,” Hutchings told Thorold News. “He has been nominated by Community Care, Thorold for our Jean Eggleton award. This award recognizes outstanding contributions in enriching the lives of others within the Thorold community. He has not been given the award yet as we have had to cancel our volunteer awards ceremony,” she added, due to COVID-19.

“I’ve had a chance to do a fair bit of travelling with this company and I’ve met a lot of great people, but Thorold … it’s just part of my DNA,” said Palmerino. “It’s where my family is; lifelong friends. It’s given me a lot of good memories. I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.”

While every Giant Tiger store is unique in its approach, the chain’s philosophy is to give back, according to Palmerino. “All new managers and owners” are encouraged to assist their communities where needed, and store associates are trained in “old-school customer service.”

In helping Pelham and Thorold’s most vulnerable, he’s found that “Most often, gift cards work best so they can come and pick what they need,” in terms of necessities like food and clothing.

“When you deal with the (school) principals and presidents of these clubs, you can see their gratitude,” said Palmerino. “It’s a really good feeling, at Christmas or during those tougher times, that it’s going to make a difference. It’s a huge fulfillment.”

“Community Care has to see people struggling every day,” he added. “You’ve got to be a special person to do a job like that.”

Last year, OneThorold raised 4,000 pounds of food for Thorold Community Care, and the volunteer group is hosting its second annual food drive this Sunday, June 14, with the need being even greater this year due to COVID-19. Because of social distancing regulations, they’re asking Thoroldites to deliver food items to Community Care at 19 Albert Street West before 3 p.m. that Sunday, so the organization can continue to serve the growing number of Thorold residents who need help during the pandemic.

The most-needed items include: nut-free granola bars, canned spaghetti sauce, canned meat, canned stew, pasta, juice boxes, and peanut butter.

People are also encouraged to contribute funds online, or buy tickets to the Community Care 50/50 raffle at

For more information, visit the website or call 905-227-9240.