OHSWEKEN – Eight pick-up truckloads and a trailer pulled up in front of the Six Nations Food Bank full of canned goods and food to help refill the rapidly emptying shelves.
Around a dozen members of the Men’s Fire and some women unloaded the trucks like an army of ants while Food Bank Director Sadie Buck directed traffic.
“This donation today from the Men’s Fire is very much needed and appreciated,” she said. “We were getting really low and I was worrying if we were going to make it through the winter season. This donation will ensure we get through until maybe March of 2014.”
According to Buck, the client list for the food bank is growing, even over the past year.
“Last year we were servicing around 62 clients a week when we were open two days a week. Now, we are averaging 100 people per week, being open only Thursdays,” she says. “That’s almost double what we were doing last year at this time. I think there is a bigger need here than many of us are aware of and we are only starting to see that now.”
Bill Monture and his wife, Iris are regular donors to the food bank, but this year, the Men’s Fire wanted to get involved with the giving as a group as well.
“I just can’t see our people going hungry,” said Iris. “It saddens me because of the number of people down here that do go hungry and I don’t like that. It shouldn’t be that way. There are a lot of our elders that just don’t have enough money for food and that’s just wrong.”
The delivery totaled $10,000. However, with the added help of No-Frills franchise owner Paul Gibbons in Hagersville, that amount was nearly doubled in product.
“I was happy to do it,” said Gibbons. “It’s just the right thing to do. It’s a chance to give a little back to the people that keep you in business.”
“The Men’s Fire has an anonymous donor who has been with us for a long time, and he contributed quite a bit towards this,” says Monture. “Paul was just great when we told him what we were doing. He really helped us out by selling us a lot of stuff at his cost and reduced the prices on others. That almost doubled the amount we would normally have been able to get with the $10,000 we had to spend. We really thank him for his help.”