Environmental emphasis on this year’s Food Drive
Preparations are underway for the annual Fall Food Drive for the Manna Food Bank, organized by the Muskoka Oldtimers Hockey Club.
On Tuesday October 8, 2019 Bracebridge residents are asked to gather non-perishable food items to donate to the Manna Food Bank and set them outside their doors by 5:00 pm. Bracebridge school kids will be running door-to-door that evening, collecting the food and financial donations, which will be delivered to the Food Bank.
Cardboard Boxes and Reusable Shopping Bags
This year, new Oldtimers organizer and recently-retired teacher Doug Kamachi is hoping to make the food drive a bit more environmentally friendly by encouraging the use of carboard boxes and reusable shopping bags.
“If you have a cardboard box or extra reusable shopping bags, please consider using them,” he asks residents as well as drivers. He’s hoping to reduce the number of plastic bags used for the food drive. And when plastic bags are used, Manna volunteers sort them to ensure they are reused whenever possible.
The runners take the donations to waiting vehicles accompanying each team up and down the streets. There are a total of 53 teams wending their way through Bracebridge. Once they are finished, the vehicles make their way to the Bracebridge Fairgrounds where more volunteers unpack and sort thousands of pounds of food in preparation for another winter.
It’s a huge undertaking, hard work for everyone involved, and there’s a lot of positive energy in the air. This is the largest food collection of the year for Manna, and Manna co-organizer John Cameron notes that the food drive would not be the success it is without the Oldtimers, the many volunteers, and the wider community. “This event brings out the best in this community. It’s wonderful to see, and to be grateful for. Thanks to everyone who pitches in.”
The organizers and many of the volunteers are Oldtimers; but schools, businesses, churches, and service organizations encourage volunteers to sign up as well. Local businesses help get the word out and donate snacks, refreshments and equipment to make the evening run smoothly. Cameron sends a special shout-out to the South Muskoka Minor Hockey, which also makes an important contribution.
In addition, thousands of Bracebridge residents play a crucial role by contributing non-perishable food items and making financial donations in support of Manna.
The non-perishable food items that Manna needs most this year include;
• Canned: Fish, meat, fruit, vegetables, pasta sauce & baked beans
• Rice and dry pasta
• Powdered milk
• Baby formula
• Breakfast cereal
• Peanut butter
• School snacks
• Macaroni & cheese
The volunteers do their best to cover as much of the town as they can, but invariably some homes get missed. If yours is one of them, please contact Manna at firstname.lastname@example.org or 705-646-0114 to arrange a pick-up, or drop it at one of the donation bins, located all-year-round at Gagnon’s Your Independent Grocer, Food Basics, the Bracebridge Sportsplex, the Town offices at 1000 Taylor Court, as well as many of the local churches.
Manna is one of several local charities that benefit from the good work of The Muskoka Oldtimers Hockey Club.
Located at Unit 45 – 345 Ecclestone Drive, the Manna Food Bank is open Tuesdays and Fridays from 1-4pm. Manna helps hundreds of local families put food on the table every year. Manna is entirely volunteer run and gratefully accepts donations all year around. You can also donate online at www.mannafoodbank.ca either one time, or you can set up a monthly donation. Serving Muskoka since 1989, The Manna Food Bank is a registered charity. Tax receipts are available for financial donations. You can also find Manna on Facebook and on Instagram.