Diane Giberson, a Yarker resident for 14 years and organizer of the Stone Mills Declutter Sale, has seen the increasing need for The Salvation Army’s Food Bank services for local families since COVID started and decided a food-drive was the best route to get donations to come in.
Giberson will be set up on Sept. 26 from 1-4 p.m. at the Westendorp Waste Disposal Services (WWDS), located at 2688 County Rd 6 in Stone Mills.
It will be a literal food-‘drive’ where people will drive into WWDS’s parking lot at one end, drop their donations off within the parking lot and drive out the other end of the parking lot.
“This is my first food drive so I’m going to try and get what I can but any donations will help out,” expressed Giberson. “People will drive in one end, drop their donations off and drive out the other side which is how I have it set up currently.”
As part of an incentive to come out and donate, Giberson has partnered with Connon Nurseries and Rock Point Landscapes out of Napanee to be able to offer a potted mum to the people who donate at least 5 items with only one plant given per vehicle.
“I’ve partnered with Connon Nurseries and Rock Point Landscapes out of Napanee and they’ve both been really kind,” stated Giberson. “Connon’s has been kind enough to give me a really good price on mums and Rock Point help contribute to those as well, which is meant to be an incentive to get people to come. I just wanted to ensure I get something for The Salvation Army Food Bank.”
With this being Giberson’s first year running this food-drive, she hopes to keep this running as an annual event.
On the Food Banks end, their services have been accessed and there has been 30 per cent more new families accessing their service since COVID, not including their current clientele.
“These kinds of stats tell you there is a huge need in all communities for food banks and that’s why I wanted to do something.” Giberson said. “I think with COVID this year has been and is going to be extremely difficult for many families, I think the 30 percent is just the tip of the iceberg and I don’t have any data to point in that direction but what I do know as my job takes me into real estate, I see a lot of factors coming together and I do pay attention to what’s happening in the news as everyone else is and there is a lot of factors converging and we don’t know what this is going to do in the fall. Stress is exasperating, there’s mental health involved, existing health issues, with the fall coming we have no idea what the service industry and restaurants will do. We have some people who are going to be evicted just because they can’t make payments and we have people who are not able to make their mortgage payments, so this fall with people going back to work and going back to school we don’t know what COVID is going to do and how that’s going to affect us in the flu season. And all those things coming together around Thanksgiving, it could possibly be a terrible year for a lot of families and I think anything we can do to step up our game, especially this year, I think we need to do it.”
For more information please contact Giberson at 613-453-7482.