The Salvation Army South Muskoka Ministries will have food to distribute to people in need in Bracebridge and Gravenhurst well into the New Year.
An estimated 11,771 lbs. of food was collected Tuesday night.
“People are just really grateful for the help,” says Lt. April Keeping with the Salvation Army. She credits the community with setting the precedent for the fundraiser, pointing out it started long before she and her partner Brandon started with the Salvation Army.
The Bracebridge Fire Department – as they always do – went door-to-door collecting donations and dropped them off at the Community Church at 456 Manitoba St. A slew of volunteers ranging in age from 5 to 92 waited with open arms to sort the variety of items.
“We look forward to it all year,” says Keeping.
Mayor Rick Maloney was one of the volunteers helping to collect the food.
“There has always been great support from the community,” he says. “This community has the ability to open its heart and its pockets to help people who find themselves in difficult circumstances.”
Maloney says some go through hardships during the holidays through no fault of their own and says it’s heartwarming to know their neighbours are there to support them.
He credits the Salvation Army and the many volunteers who support the program every year for keeping it going.
Nancy Turley is one of the volunteers who has been part of the food drive for many years. “It encapsulates Christmas,” she says. “Our community comes together.”
While the food drive happens during the holidays, Turley says the need is not just when snow is on the ground. “It’s all year long,” she continues.