Funds used to purchase fresh food for needy clients
Every day, the Elgin Street Mission serves about 300 meals to the poor and homeless in the city's downtown.
It would be difficult to do this if it weren't for the support of the Sudbury Food Bank, said the organization's administrator, Jennifer O'Link.
She was on hand at the food bank May 27 to pick up a cheque for $5,000 to purchase fresh food items such as fruit and milk.
“This money is very much appreciated and needed,” O'Link said.
The food bank hands out money to its member agencies twice a year.
In addition to the roughly $500,000 in cash donations it receives every year, the food bank receives about $2.5 million in food donations, which are also distributed to its member agencies.
These cash and food donations are raised through initiatives such as the Edgar Burton Food Drive.
It's because Greater Sudbury is such a diverse and wide-spread community that the food bank distributes its resources to member agencies rather than handing out food aid itself, executive director Dan Xilon explained.
“You can't have a food bank in Hanmer to service Capreol,” he said.
“You've got to have a food bank in Capreol and in Hanmer. They tend to know their people and what the needs are out there ... Who are we to tell them what they should or shouldn't be doing? They're the ones that know.”
Food bank president Greg Fontaine said he's always at a loss for words when he thinks about the support Sudburians show for his organization.
“They put their faith in both us and the member agencies to help people and meet the need, following the very basic principle of people not going hungry,” he said. “It's wonderful.”
Better Beginnings, Better Futures director Carole Dodge picked up two cheques totalling $2,500 for two of her organization's programs.
These include the Baby's Breath program, which provides support — and healthy meals — to pregnant and parenting teens, as well as Better Beginnings' weekly community dinner, which feeds about 60 people a week.
“We're very fortunate to have the support of the Sudbury Food Bank,” Dodge said.