Labour Day food drive to benefit Maynooth Food Bank

·6 min read

The Lake St. Peter Property Association, in collaboration with West Pines Park Resort in Lake St. Peter, is holding a food drive over Labour Day weekend to help out the Maynooth Food Bank. Bonny McCleery Scanlan, the LSPPOA and Hastings Highlands Interlake-environmental coordinator and Amy West, owner of West Pines, comment on this upcoming event.

The food drive that the LSPPOA and West Pines are doing is happening over this coming Labour Day weekend, and McCleery Scanlan says that the food drive is intertwined with their annual yard sale and some member donations for the grand total that will be given to the food bank.

McCleery Scanlan says that the support of the Maynooth Food Bank started many years ago, when the Scanlan family held their annual yard sale. She said that half the money went to the food bank and half went to support specific women’s charities that her daughter Courtney supported in Ottawa.

“In 2017, when we were getting further involved in the LSPPOA we decided to move the yard sale under the umbrella of the lakeassociation. This further involved association members and the sale was then hosted by LSPPOA at Del Mar Cottages with John Severinac. Del Mar was sold this year and while John was turning over the business to the new owners, he also talked up the association. We greatly appreciate the enthusiasm Matt and McKenzie from Del Mar, who continued the tradition of hosting the yard sale,” she says.

McCleery Scanlan says that they also have members who donate their wares, such as Courtney Scanlan, who donated her July and August book sales from her Ottawa store The Thrifty Bookworm in 2021 and 2022 and artist John Doherty, who donated a painting several times. She says that this year’s painting is of a rock climber. She also mentions Tom Scanlan who works with wood and has donated a charcuterie board. Donations toward the art and the charcuterie board were accepted at the yard sale and will also be accepted at their annual general meeting on Sept. 4.

Due to COVID-19 in 2020, the LSPPOA wasn’t able to hold their annual yard sale, so they had to find another way to continue to support the food bank. They approached West from West Pines, and McCleery Scanlan said that she was eager to help.

“The West Pines community have been very enthusiastic and have donated significantly to the effort over the past couple of years,” she says.

West confirms that this is West Pines’ fourth year collaborating with the LSPPOA for the food drive and that they’d altered their park events to be mobile due to COVID-19, including the food drive.

“The Lake St. Peter Fire Department was very supportive and excited to be involved as well. We formed a parade with the fire department leading the way and a decorated trailer in the middle with volunteers collecting donations.

West says that the parade went throughout the campground and their seasonal and overnight campers donated in a big way. She said they also had donation boxes in their ice cream parlour, The Scooped Moose.

“We always have to add more boxes throughout the weekend as we have an incredibly generous community! This year, we’re sponsoring Pockets the Clown and offering face painting for all of the children, and encouraging food bank donations in exchange for unicorn, tiger and butterfly face paintings. Our overnight campers arriving for the Labour Day weekend festivities are reminded of the food drive prior to their arrival, and the ones who have already checked in for this coming week have arrived with bags and bags of donations in tow!” she says.

This is the first year that St. Paul’s United Church has been involved in the food drive, according to McCleery Scanlan. She said that she’d heard from another association member that they route their personal donations to the food bank via the United Church, and so she got in touch with Pastor Marilyn Zehr, who put her in touch with the church’s treasurer, Marlene Lavalley, who provided her with details on how to donate and get a charitable receipt.

“We are hoping that this approach will help to stimulate further cash donations. Marlene will be keeping the tally and we will know the contributions following the Labour Day drive. While food donations are always greatly appreciated by the food bank, cash donations assist with the further need of buying specific items such as milk and other perishables,” she says.

To get a charitable receipt for cash donations, people can make an e-transfer to St. Paul’s United Church at st.paulslsp@gmail.com (in the message box indicate it’s for the food bank and your mailing address to get the receipt) or by cheque by snail mail payable to the church at; St. Paul’s United Church, care of Marlene Lavalley, P.O. Box 102, Lake St. Peter, ON. K0L 2K0 (in the memo line indicating it’s for the food bank and your mailing address). Cash donations are also being accepted at the LSPPOA’s AGM on Sept. 4 and at the Scanlans at 202A Centre Road.

Food donations can be made at several food boxes made available, including at West Pines at The Scooped Moose, at the LSPPOA AGM on Sept. 4 and at the Scanlans at 202A Centre Road. They suggest donations of dry goods like pastas, proteins, canned goods, toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner and hand cream. They say that baby items are not required at this time and they ask that no expired goods be donated.

Since 2017, the food drive has collected 535 pounds of food and raised $8,847. So far this year, they’ve raised $1,347, but the contributions to the food drive over Labour Day are still pending of course.

McCleery Scanlan reveals that last year was a peak year ($2,400 raised and 365 pounds of food collected), in which they had a very successful yard sale, which she attributes to two year’s worth of stockpiled treasures and people wanting to get out and do things after facing so many COVID-19 restrictions. In fact, she says the majority of the money collected was due to the yard sale.

“The cash donations fell off significantly in 2021 compared to the first COVID-19 year of 2020. We are hoping that with the charity receipt option this year, the cash donations will increase,” she says.

McCleery Scanlan says that LSPPOA is a community-based organization and they are all part of the larger community around them at Lake St. Peter and within Hastings Highlands.

“Your donations are greatly appreciated by those currently in need for some additional support. Thank you for your kind donations.”

Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times