In one week alone, West Lincoln Community Care (WLCC) has handed out almost 100 backpacks and sets of supplies for students returning to school in the fall.
According to Sharlene Volpatti, client services and food bank manager at WLCC, clients who were registered in the spring have come back in the past several days to pick up their back-to-school equipment.
Backpacks, lunch bags and other school supplies were given out to students who registered with WLCC, and thanks in part to a partnership with Canadian Tire Bank’s Snacks n' Sneakers program, students also received a pair of brand-name shoes. A $25 gift was also provided to clients to help with grocery shopping, courtesy of Niagara Nutrition Partners.
“People are thrilled,” said Volpatti. She said clients were especially happy with the shoes, as shoes could be difficult to afford for many and often younger students need at least two pairs, for indoor and outdoor.
She said the clients expressed gratitude to WLCC, saying that it found it “really helpful, especially with the pandemic and changes in income.”
Mason Kurchik, a summer student working at WLCC, said that he had a great experience working there so far. “It's nice seeing people hustle and bustle to actually help people,” he said. Kurchik said he especially appreciated the intensity with which volunteers approached helping other people.
“Places like this are definitely needed,” he said. “We can definitely sustain more people.”
Kurchik said people often assume they're not eligible for help, and that there are more people out there who could benefit from speaking with WLCC.
“We don’t turn anybody away,” said Kurchik.
Volpatti said that although shoes may be limited, backpacks, lunch bags and other supplies are still available for those who reach out. For information, call the food bank at 905-957-5882.
Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News