26th Ancaster food drive surpasses 100,000 pounds for second year
Community Mar 05, 2018 by Richard Leitner Ancaster News
Volunteers sort donations for packing in boxes at the 26th annual Ancaster Community Food Drive. – Richard Leitner/Metroland
Bins of donated food are hauled from a conveyor belt to tables for sorting. – Richard Leitner/Metroland
Once sorted, donations are packed into boxes to be weighed. – Richard Leitner/Metroland
Boxes of sorted donations are weighed before being stacked for pickup by local food agencies. – Richard Leitner/Metroland
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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.”