Ancaster food drive ‘what good communities do’

Community Mar 05, 2018 by Richard Leitner Ancaster News

It ended up topping last year’s record haul, but to Jim LoPresti the 26th annual Ancaster Community Food Drive had already achieved its goal before the final tally came in.

“This is what good communities do and Ancaster is a great community,” the drive’s co-chair said amid the buzz of volunteers unloading, sorting, packing and weighing donations at the Ancaster Fairgrounds on Saturday.

“You can’t help but be impressed. Most of us never will really know hunger, but it’s the ability to know that what we take for granted, we have to understand then there are many in our community who don’t have a breakfast, who don’t have a nice dinner.”

The drive switched locations from the St. John’s Parish Hall last year and LoPresti said some tweaks, including adding two more weigh stations, helped this year’s effort run more smoothly.

The final count of 104,000 pounds came in late Monday, bettering last year’s 101,500, which had obliterated the previous record of 83,500 in 2016. The drive has now taken in 1,647,500 pounds of food over 26 years.

It benefits eight food banks across the city and is timed to fill the post-Christmas donation lull, when shelves grow bare.

“That’s why we originally picked mid-winter to do this,” said LoPresti, a founding member. “This is the time the agencies really need our help and this will get them through for a little while, hopefully into the spring and the warmer weather.”

Veteran volunteer Mike Wells said he and his wife Maureen keep coming back year after year because it’s a good thing to do and they like the camaraderie.

“It’s one of the most wonderful services that I’ve ever come across in the various parts of the world that I have lived in,” said Wells, whose past home addresses include Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa.

“They get a lot of people and I think they’ve all got the same outlook and feelings as both me and my wife,” he said. “It’s good fun, we enjoy it and every pair of hands helps.”

Columbia International College students Christeen Ngo, 16, and Mary Pham, 15, said they learned about the drive through their school and particularly enjoyed sorting the donated foods, many new to them.

“I love it,” said Ngo, who was expecting a far more modest operation. “I thought it would be a small room with just some people, maybe students.”

Flamborough-Glanbrook MP David Sweet, a 15-year volunteer who lugged bins of donations to tables for sorting, said the drive has continually engaged the community, drawing people of all ages and walks of life.

“The community involvement is as valuable as the food. Obviously we’re doing it to make sure the less fortunate people are fed,” he said.

“This gets some of the people who would never go to some of the big-award events that the city holds or those kinds of things. But they come out here because they want to help.”

This story has been updated from a previous version to reflect the final food count tally that came in late Monday.

 

Ancaster food drive ‘what good communities do’

26th Ancaster food drive surpasses 100,000 pounds for second year

Community Mar 05, 2018 by Richard Leitner Ancaster News

It ended up topping last year’s record haul, but to Jim LoPresti the 26th annual Ancaster Community Food Drive had already achieved its goal before the final tally came in.

“This is what good communities do and Ancaster is a great community,” the drive’s co-chair said amid the buzz of volunteers unloading, sorting, packing and weighing donations at the Ancaster Fairgrounds on Saturday.

“You can’t help but be impressed. Most of us never will really know hunger, but it’s the ability to know that what we take for granted, we have to understand then there are many in our community who don’t have a breakfast, who don’t have a nice dinner.”

The drive switched locations from the St. John’s Parish Hall last year and LoPresti said some tweaks, including adding two more weigh stations, helped this year’s effort run more smoothly.

It’s one of the most wonderful services that I’ve ever come across in the various parts of the world that I have lived in. — Mike Wells

The final count of 104,000 pounds came in late Monday, bettering last year’s 101,500, which had obliterated the previous record of 83,500 in 2016. The drive has now taken in 1,647,500 pounds of food over 26 years.

It benefits eight food banks across the city and is timed to fill the post-Christmas donation lull, when shelves grow bare.

“That’s why we originally picked mid-winter to do this,” said LoPresti, a founding member. “This is the time the agencies really need our help and this will get them through for a little while, hopefully into the spring and the warmer weather.”

Veteran volunteer Mike Wells said he and his wife Maureen keep coming back year after year because it’s a good thing to do and they like the camaraderie.

“It’s one of the most wonderful services that I’ve ever come across in the various parts of the world that I have lived in,” said Wells, whose past home addresses include Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa.

“They get a lot of people and I think they’ve all got the same outlook and feelings as both me and my wife,” he said. “It’s good fun, we enjoy it and every pair of hands helps.”

Columbia International College students Christeen Ngo, 16, and Mary Pham, 15, said they learned about the drive through their school and particularly enjoyed sorting the donated foods, many new to them.

“I love it,” said Ngo, who was expecting a far more modest operation. “I thought it would be a small room with just some people, maybe students.”

Flamborough-Glanbrook MP David Sweet, a 15-year volunteer who lugged bins of donations to tables for sorting, said the drive has continually engaged the community, drawing people of all ages and walks of life.

“The community involvement is as valuable as the food. Obviously we’re doing it to make sure the less fortunate people are fed,” he said.

“This gets some of the people who would never go to some of the big-award events that the city holds or those kinds of things. But they come out here because they want to help.”

This story has been updated from a previous version to reflect the final food count tally that came in late Monday.

 

Ancaster food drive ‘what good communities do’

26th Ancaster food drive surpasses 100,000 pounds for second year

Community Mar 05, 2018 by Richard Leitner Ancaster News

It ended up topping last year’s record haul, but to Jim LoPresti the 26th annual Ancaster Community Food Drive had already achieved its goal before the final tally came in.

“This is what good communities do and Ancaster is a great community,” the drive’s co-chair said amid the buzz of volunteers unloading, sorting, packing and weighing donations at the Ancaster Fairgrounds on Saturday.

“You can’t help but be impressed. Most of us never will really know hunger, but it’s the ability to know that what we take for granted, we have to understand then there are many in our community who don’t have a breakfast, who don’t have a nice dinner.”

The drive switched locations from the St. John’s Parish Hall last year and LoPresti said some tweaks, including adding two more weigh stations, helped this year’s effort run more smoothly.

It’s one of the most wonderful services that I’ve ever come across in the various parts of the world that I have lived in. — Mike Wells

The final count of 104,000 pounds came in late Monday, bettering last year’s 101,500, which had obliterated the previous record of 83,500 in 2016. The drive has now taken in 1,647,500 pounds of food over 26 years.

It benefits eight food banks across the city and is timed to fill the post-Christmas donation lull, when shelves grow bare.

“That’s why we originally picked mid-winter to do this,” said LoPresti, a founding member. “This is the time the agencies really need our help and this will get them through for a little while, hopefully into the spring and the warmer weather.”

Veteran volunteer Mike Wells said he and his wife Maureen keep coming back year after year because it’s a good thing to do and they like the camaraderie.

“It’s one of the most wonderful services that I’ve ever come across in the various parts of the world that I have lived in,” said Wells, whose past home addresses include Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa.

“They get a lot of people and I think they’ve all got the same outlook and feelings as both me and my wife,” he said. “It’s good fun, we enjoy it and every pair of hands helps.”

Columbia International College students Christeen Ngo, 16, and Mary Pham, 15, said they learned about the drive through their school and particularly enjoyed sorting the donated foods, many new to them.

“I love it,” said Ngo, who was expecting a far more modest operation. “I thought it would be a small room with just some people, maybe students.”

Flamborough-Glanbrook MP David Sweet, a 15-year volunteer who lugged bins of donations to tables for sorting, said the drive has continually engaged the community, drawing people of all ages and walks of life.

“The community involvement is as valuable as the food. Obviously we’re doing it to make sure the less fortunate people are fed,” he said.

“This gets some of the people who would never go to some of the big-award events that the city holds or those kinds of things. But they come out here because they want to help.”

This story has been updated from a previous version to reflect the final food count tally that came in late Monday.