Supporting Hands Across Niagara lends a hand to Niagara Falls Soup Kitchen

·2 min read

Winter is coming, and a local grassroots organization is hoping to do its part to lend a hand to those in need.

Supporting Hands Across Niagara (SHAN) is a community group dedicated to supporting local charities, and people who may be struggling, but finding ways to collect and distribute any items them can.

Over the weekend, the group ran its latest campaign, a bottle drive to support The Soup Kitchen in Niagara Falls.

Volunteers gathered in the parking lot of the Canadian Tire on McLeod Road with a U-Haul and a van, ready to collect any bottles and cans they could.

Kristen Ashenden is one of the groups volunteers, she said SHAN supports all types of charities across the region, and hopes the funds from the bottles and cans collected can go towards helping some of the communities most vulnerable as the weather starts to get colder.

“The soup kitchen is a huge help to the community in providing hot nutritious food. Winter is coming and a lot of local charities like the soup kitchen need extra help during the winter. They give out hundreds of meals every day.”

Ashenden said the turnout from the community for the campaign was great, with many people already lining up in the parking lot Saturday morning, while others wondering what was going on, were happy to come back and donate their empty cans and bottles to a good cause.

“The turnout has been really good. This morning we weren’t even full set up and cars already started coming. We are having a great turn out, a lot of people came by and didn’t even know, and came back later to donate bottles. We have had a few restaurants and hotels donate their empty bottles as well.”

SHAN hopes to continue their efforts to reach out to the community and help distribute whatever items they can, especially as the pandemic continues, and many people continue to struggle.

But Ashenden said so far, the response has been great, with many people in the community willing to lend a helping hand, even in the most difficult times.

“All you have to do is ask. There are people who want to help, and with COVID, there are so many people in need. Often times, the people helping are also struggling. But it takes a village.”

Bryan Levesque, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News