One in four children who make their home in downtown Thorold lives in poverty.
This sad fact, along with a presentation from Community Care at a recent OneThorold meeting, prompted the first annual Thorold Food Drive last Sunday morning, which saw congregations from five of its churches, along with members of OneThorold, canvassing to collect food for those in need.
Volunteers from Village Church, Living Water, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian, St. John’s Anglican, and Rolling Meadows Bible Chapel participated in the first door-to-door food drive campaign.
A crowd from the Village Church met at Richmond Street School beforehand, for instructions from organizer Hilda Vanderklippe.
Greeting the group of volunteers, she said, “Welcome to our RAKE—Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere.”
In addition to collecting food, Village Church volunteers picked up garbage along Richmond Street and handed out free coffee to strangers at Tim Horton’s.
The latter act is not new for the church and its members, explained Pastor Mark DeVos.
“In Thorold, we have three kinds of poverty,” he stated; “economic poverty, which is very real, educational poverty, and social poverty. Tim Horton’s is a place where anyone can go and connect with people and often, I see people sitting by themselves.”
Loneliness is a reality for many local people, he added.
“We each have a Tim’s gift card, and buy people a coffee. Sometimes I spend an hour with one person, just getting to know their story.”
Maxine Hutchings, manager of Community Care, thanked all the individuals and five churches for bringing in a total of 4,253 pounds of food.
“It is as a result of caring individuals and groups such as yours in our community that assisting those that are struggling is possible,” she stated. “Your contributions are a hope for our clients and for the community we all treasure and seek to improve. All this is an investment in the future of our most important asset, the people. A grand total of 4,253 pounds of food was received from our generous community. The people who access the services at Community Care, Thorold will be pleased to shop in our food room through the summer months.”
Likewise, Vanderklippe issued “A big thank you, to all individuals and volunteers who so generously gave of their time and resources so all people in Thorold are cared for and can live in dignity. We are so excited about living in a community that cares,” she said.
Anyone who missed the food drive can still participate by bringing the following most needed items to Community Care at 19 Albert Street West: baby formula and cereal, canned salmon and tuna, canned turkey, chicken and ham, canned pasta, canned tomatoes, pudding cups, apple sauce, and juice, in boxes or large cans.