Food Day donations will help charitable organizations

The Salvation Army Food Banks and Outreach For Hunger will be able to help people in their communities, thanks to the generosity of local farmers and agricultural-based businesses and organizations.

The Kent Federation of Agriculture held its annual Food Day last Wednesday and received food, monetary and gift card donations, totalling just over $7,000.

Food producers dropped off fresh fruits and vegetables at Salvation Army Church in Chatham last Wednesday morning, while gift cards and monetary donations will go to purchasing perishable food items. The donations were split equally to the two charitable organizations that help the needy throughout Chatham-Kent. The Ridgetown Food Bank will receive a portion of the Salvation Army’s allotment.

“We’re thankful for all the farmers, businesses and individuals for making donations today to help us with this food drive for the local food banks,” said Paige Handsor, KFA Food Day coordinator.

Brad Snobelen, KFA President, told reporters that food banks always need supplies to assist the needy in their communities.

“We’re local producers, and we love to support local causes,” Snobelen said. “We’re fortunate in Chatham-Kent to have producers who have food all year.”

KFA’s Food Day is held in conjunction with Canada’s Agriculture Day, which is held annually on Feb. 22. This was the ninth food drive conducted by the KFA and the fourth to fall on Canada Agriculture Day.For the first five years, the collection took place on Food Freedom Day, which was not a set date but determined by the day when the average Canadian family earned enough income to pay for their groceries for the entire year.The Canadian Agriculture Federation determined the date for Food Freedom, but it often came with little notice, leaving local groups such as the KFA scrambling, trying to arrange for the donations to be collected.

“Now it’s the same date every year, which makes it easier for everyone to plan,” Handsor said.

Michael Bennett, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News