Friday, August 7, 2020

A miracle for Wallaceburg’s food banks, soup kitchens & community meals

By Rori Bennett – Junior Reporter

A miracle took place across Chatham-Kent on May 16 and this was certainly the case in Wallaceburg as well.

“There has always been a need for food banks and for people to donate to the less fortunate,” Stuart McFadden, the captain for the May 16 Miracle in Wallaceburg, told the Sydenham Current.

“That has been compounded because of COVID-19. There are many families that are struggling right now, they were laid off, businesses closed and it puts a bit more pressure on food banks. We need to take care of each other, and hence the reason why the Miracle event was organized.”

Organizers across Chatham-Kent were elated at the number of volunteers within the community that stepped up to help with the event.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were flooded with photos, words of encouragement to the community and volunteers and thank you’s to the event organizers.

The event not only helped to refill the shelves in community food banks, but it also brought each community in Chatham-Kent together.

The May 16th Miracle exemplified the meaning behind the hashtag #AllInThisTogether.

“Those that normally wouldn’t use a food bank, now they have the ability to take care of their family,” McFadden said.

“So some people who have never used a food bank in their life, now they can if they need to because we have all kinds of food for them. Not just food, but other things as well. Health and beauty, hygiene, bathroom cleaners, tinfoil, water cases, laundry detergents, you could open up a grocery store with what we collected on Saturday.”

McFadden said May 16 was an extra special day for his family.

“It was my wife’s (Tammy’s) birthday on Saturday, and really this was mine and my two sons’, Bronson and Brayden’s, gift to their mother. We are pretty proud to be a part of it, but this was a community event. There were so many people that made (Saturday) a reality, so many businesses that volunteered, so many that contributed. This was a complete community effort.”

McFadden said some of the locations in Wallaceburg ran out of space to store the donations, which are being distributed to the Salvation Army and St. Vincent De Paul food banks.

McFadden said they are looking to work with local Wallaceburg soup kitchens, or locations offering free meals, to utilize some of the excess food donated in Wallaceburg.

Anyone interested can contact McFadden through email at stuartm@chatham-kent.ca.

Here are some photos shared on social media from the Wallaceburg portion of the event:

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