Was it a Christmas miracle or simply Kahnawa’kehró:non at their best?
The Emergency/Kateri Food Basket was able to raise quite a bit of cash from special holiday donations. The amount came as a surprise as this year had been particularly challenging for fundraisers. The biggest donor, the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP), which normally collects up to $5,000, had to move their annual concert online. Each year, the CP Holiday Train travels around communities to fight hunger by raising funds and food that is donated to local food banks.
In order to make up for that loss, a food drive was held, orchestrated by volunteers in front of the Knights of Columbus Hall in Kahnawake on December 12. That night, not only did they collect non-perishable food and cash donations from community members, but CP was able to give out $4,500 to the Food Basket.
For Kateri Food Basket coordinator Cory Rice, that generosity was beautiful to witness.
“A lot of people are struggling themselves, but people are still donating,” said Rice. “It’s been really nice to see.”
Restaurant owner Gim Ming Wong is another big donor, who, each year, usually throws a fundraiser-buffet around Christmas. This time around, he found an unusual way to safely collect money for the Food Basket. And it was all about the egg roll.
“Every cent of egg rolls sold went to the food basket,” said Wong.
The owner of Tahiti Fusion donated $2,700, which was $1,700 more than in 2019. Wong explained that he received a lot of support from Kahnawake and chose to give away his entire sales of egg rolls. Benihana owner Eric Wong even bought 200 egg rolls, the equivalent of $420.
“It feels awesome not only for me, but also for my employees to give back, especially during COVID-19 and the Christmas time, with so many people in need,” said Wong.
The holidays might be over, but the Food Basket continues. With 140 households using the services, Rice said that they will remain as active as what they have been doing for the past few months. They are still accepting donations, financial or non-perishable food, trying to accommodate as much as possible the needs of their clients.
“Every little bit helps and I want to thank the community,” said Rice.
The Emergency/Kateri Food Basket is open from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus, with delivery every Friday.
Virginie Ann, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door