'Miracle' food drive collects over 1 million pounds of food in Windsor-Essex

·2 min read
Food sorted into bins at the Roundhouse Centre warehouse hub for the second annual June 27 Miracle drive. (Jennifer La Grassa/CBC - image credit)
Food sorted into bins at the Roundhouse Centre warehouse hub for the second annual June 27 Miracle drive. (Jennifer La Grassa/CBC - image credit)

Over 1 million pounds of food were collected from Windsor-Essex residents last month as part of a food drive known as the June 27th Miracle.

More than 5,000 volunteers came together to collect donations in support of their neighbours, the food drive's organizing team said in a media release on Monday.

An estimated 1,032,199 lbs. of food, or 468,198 kilograms' worth, was collected. Over half of the food has already been distributed to organizations in Windsor-Essex.

The donations come at a time when groups tackling hunger face increased demand and lower donation levels.

The UHC - Hub of Opportunities food bank served 73 per cent more households from April 2020 to the end of March 2021 compared with the previous year.

"I want to make sure everyone knows what they did on June 27th is going to help our community in Windsor and Essex County, '' June Muir, president of the Windsor Essex Food Bank Association and CEO of UHC - Hub of Opportunities, said in the press release.

"Donations were down a lot this year. A big thank you to the organizing committee for another successful year. It is no small task to organize this day."

Based on stats from the Windsor Essex Food Bank Association, the organizers of the drive believe the items collected could provide the equivalent of a year of food bank use for 15,000 households or 34,000 people.

The event, which was smaller and had fewer volunteers compared with the inaugural event last year, was organized in just over three weeks.

One of the organizers, Matt Hernandez, said that seeing the community come together to pull off the event showed him "what we're capable of when we trust each other."

"So many people gave in one way or another — time, expertise, leadership, equipment, facilities, signs, food, the list goes on. We are all in awe of everyone that played a part in making this miracle."

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