Five tons of food for St. Vincent de Paul food bank

St. Vincent de Paul Society President Tom Thompson stands beside nearly 11,000 pounds of food raised during a 12-hour food drive by Corus Entertainment. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Over 200 people in the Cornwall-area will have a little brighter Christmas this year after a 12-hour food bank drive at Cornwall Square.

The second annual “Stuff the Studio” event for the St. Vincent de Paul Society Friday was facilitated by Corus Entertainment’s boom 101.9.

By the end of the food and fundraiser at 6 p.m. there was 10,640 pounds (4,826 kilograms) of food and $2,215 in cash and cheques collected to help give Cornwall-area families an extra special holiday.

The total triples what was raised last year (3,800 pounds).

Two high schools – Holy Trinity and St. Joseph’s Catholic Secondary Schools – contributed at least 7,000 pounds of food to the event.

“It’s amazing. We’ve always done well here in the city and people are just amazingly generous,” St. Vincent de Paul Society President Tom Thompson told Cornwall Newswatch.

There are 200 clients on the list this year – 81 singles, 50 couples and 70 families – that will be getting Christmas food baskets.

“We give them a couple of baskets of food and then a food voucher that they can utilize to buy what they want,” Thompson said.

The baskets will be distributed Dec. 13.

There are also 116 needy children that will get some extra attention.

“Also for the kids, we also take their particulars and we get them some toys. (With) the firefighters here in Cornwall and some other donors we get enough toys to give the kids also,” Thompson said.

The children will also get a voucher to go shopping.

Thompson says the St. Vincent de Paul food bank sees about 320 clients a month throughout the year, which is a slight increase, but he believes is due to fluctuations in the local market and at other food banks.

He says the money will be pooled with their annual fundraising with the local churches.

The food bank spends $1,000-$1,200 monthly to buy meat, bread, milk and butter.

As for the Christmas baskets, Thompson believes the local families appreciate the help.

“At Christmas, it’s something to have something special that they can have around the table.”

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