It is not only about food. It is about an all-you-can-give spirit in Kingsville, as community members donated generous amounts of food for the June 27 Miracle food drive this past Saturday, June 27, 2020.
In the Kingsville, Ruthven and Cottam area, over 400 volunteers and a plethora of donor support brought the June 27 Miracle campaign to life. Donations such as boxed foods, canned goods and hygiene products came in from across the community.
Residents of Kingsville have indulged themselves in a wealth of generosity, filling trucks with food. All donations were brought to one of the drop-off depots at the Kingsville Arena, Pelee Winery, Ridgeview Park and Kendricks Funeral Home, to later be distributed to area food banks for those in need.
Many community groups assisted in running drop-off depots for goods. The Cottam Rotary ran a depot at Ridgeview Park while the Kingsville Southshore Rotary ran collections at the Town of Kingsville’s movie night.
Kingsville community members Victoria Schmoranz, Janice Durocher, Kim DeYong, Kara Murray, Andy Dowling, Mandy Furtado and Carol Sitler were Captains for Kingsville through the drive.
“The food drive serves to bring the community together in a common goal of helping those who, perhaps due to the current economic situation, may need to rely on the services of a food bank.” said Kim DeYong, Kingsville town councillor and an organizer of the food drive.
According to DeYong, who regularly volunteers at the food bank, they have seen a steady stream of donations prior to the event itself.
“Our community is very generous and cares deeply about helping those less fortunate.” she said.
DeYong said that the donations will be spread to local food banks. In Kingsville donations will go to the Kingsville Community Food Bank, the Ontario Student Nutrition Program run by the Green Heart Kitchen. The Cottam area collection will be shared with the Essex Area Food Bank.
Sherri Dutot, a volunteer with the drive, said this experience is beneficial to the younger generation.
“I’m very involved with the community and I think doing things as a community is a huge way to show the younger generation how to live and how to become better people,” said Dutot, a frequent volunteer in the community. “I just want to see Cottam and Kingsville grow, so being out there and active as a volunteer is just something I enjoy doing.”
Dutot has been very active in promoting the drive. She had members from her area dropping off food donations to her house prior to June 27.
“It’s amazing, I was so excited when it came out,” Dutot said. “Being able to help those in need, showing people that some of us are fortunate and so we should be helping out those unfortunately suffering with this pandemic right now.”
Marg Renaud, who volunteered at the main drop-off depot, said there was no interruption in the flow of donations that day.
“It was a great day, there were so many volunteers and everyone was happy to be there.” she said. “The quality of the donations were wonderful, it was obvious people actually put thought into what they were donating, like they actually went shopping so they could make this donation, it wasn’t just a matter of pulling unused stuff out of their cupboards.”
Renaud said that donations weren’t limited to canned goods and hygiene products. There were also other essentials such as cleaning products or food for pets being donated.
“As a general feeling, it was quite astonishing how much was being donated, but on the other hand, it’s not surprising because people in this area are very, very generous and it just came through in spades on Saturday.” she said.
According to DeYong, this food drive could possibly be the biggest the region has seen, with it’s only goal to fill the food banks.
“I’m not surprised by the willingness of our community to step up and help out with their time and donations. I’ve been involved with volunteer coordinating for other events here and the turnout is always impressive.” said DeYong.
“With the announcement of our town, along with Leamington remaining in stage one while the rest of the region moves to stage two, I sense an increased desire of our community to pull together with greater support to see us through.”
All photos of June 27 drop-off depot at Kingsville Winery by Max de Liberato