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Whether donations are big or small, Innisfil Food Bank welcomes them all

'The food bank really exists because of the broad support that it has in the community,' says administrator Howard Courtney
Pastor Howard Courtney with some of the 200 COVID-19 kits prepared at the Innisfil Community Church. Submitted

The Innisfil Food Bank has broad support in community, and its work wouldn’t be possible without it. 

Amid a pandemic, the Innisfil Food Bank continues to serve its customers. 

“It's unpredictable,” food bank administrator Howard Courtney said of the demand for food. “We're finding that some weeks are really busy and  other weeks are not — it's strange.”

Courtney said they expect a surge in demand when government-assistance programs — introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic — end. 

The pandemic has presented challenges for the food bank by limiting its ability to hold food drives. 

“We're doing a lot of purchasing at this point, because we're not doing food drives,” he said. 

So, when Fraserway RV in Cookstown donated $20,000 to the food bank recently, it was very welcome. 

“We're just overwhelmed with their sense of generosity and it is extremely helpful to us,” said Courtney. 

The Cookstown Gun Club also donated $800 and 144 pounds of food to the food bank recently. 

“We were very, very grateful for their donation,” Courtney said. 

Courtney said the food bank has enjoyed great support from the community this year, including other large donations from the County of Simcoe, a Big Bay Point resident group, and smaller donations from a councillor who had a charity yard sale. Other residents donated money to the Thanksgiving food drive. 

“The large donations are great, and they are wonderful, but it doesn't diminish the value of the individual donations,” Courtney said, adding they are all appreciated. “The food bank really exists because of the broad support that it has in the community.

“It wouldn't be there apart from that.”

Moving past Thanksgiving, Courtney said the food bank is hopeful its Christmas plans will be able to continue, including a Christmas Eve dinner, and the Christmas Hamper program, which aims to provide 70  families with food and gifts for the holidays. 

For more information about the food bank, visit here

Shane MacDonald, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Barrie Advance