Thanksgiving is a time of family, celebration and sharing gratitude. And for the 1,496 residents of Port Colborne, Wainfleet and South Niagara who currently rely on the food bank and meal services of the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre (ROFC), people in need will share in the celebration of gratitude this Thanksgiving thanks to the amazing outpouring of community and corporate support Port Cares and the Reach Out Food Centre receives.
“We are truly blessed to have such a compassionate and giving community. We receive support from the young children who collect food donations at their daycares and schools to small businesses and major corporations providing food, services and financial gifts. Port Cares relies on all of this kindness to run the Reach Out Centre including the Food bank, community meals and intervention programs,” explains Christine Clark Lafleur, Executive Director.
While the need to help is daunting, the support is overwhelming Clark Lafleur explains. She notes that throughout the year and especially at festive holiday times like Thanksgiving and Christmas Port Cares and its Reach Out Centre receives an outpouring of support. “We are truly blessed to without even asking have the individuals and companies like the Leon Family and Leon’s Furniture Limited step forward to help. The Leon family through Leon’s Furniture Limited provided a substantial gift to Port Cares to assist the work we do for young children at the centre. They shared with us that they wanted to recognize their gratitude by assisting the less fortunate by sharing compassion, care and comfort to those who need it most. Their gift is directly supporting the food bank and meal program at the Reach Out Centre.”
Approximately 120 to 140 people are anticipated to attend the Thanksgiving Dinner Meal at the Port Cares Reach Out Food Centre this Thursday, October 5th with the Port Colborne Fire Department hosting by supplying turkeys, and helping to prepare and serve alongside community volunteers and client helpers.
Not all of the people in our community who require food assistance participate in the ROFC meal program. Many more will receive food support through the ROFC food bank.
“Our clients are truly appreciative of the compassion and support they receive not only at Thanksgiving but year round. They do their best to give back and share their gratitude as best they can when their personal situations improve. This is what Port Cares is truly about – help, hope and opportunity.”
QUICK FACTS :
- More than a third of the people reliant on the ROFC food bank are children.
- Typically 50 adults and children attend the lunch program on Mondays and Wednesdays at the Reach Out Food Centre (ROFC) at 61 Nickel Street, Port Colborne.
- Approximately 100 individuals attend the weekly dinner on Thursday evenings at the ROFC.
- Lunch kits with supplies to make five nutritious lunches are provided to families with school age children through the Reach Out Centre food bank
- On average 17,000 to 20,000 pounds of food is distributed monthly through the ROFC food bank.
- Port Cares Reach Out Centre relies on donations, grants and fundraising to provide services and assistance to people living in poverty.