At their May 16 meeting, Limerick Township council received a letter from the secretary of the Tri-Township Food Basket, Mary Burbidge. After discussing amongst themselves, council voted to donate $1,000 to the food basket as they’ve done in previous years.
In Burbidge’s letter, she thanked Limerick council for its continued support for the food basket’s program, and said that because of their donations last year, they were able to provide their clients with fresh, nutritious food regularly.
“We would be very grateful if Limerick Township would also consider including a financial donation to the food basket in their 2022 budget. Donations from the three townships help us keep our doors open, to provide fresh eggs, milk, fruit and vegetables to our clients, and to give small Christmas gifts to families,” she said in her letter.
Burbidge said that as they come out of two years of lockdowns and restrictions, they realize that many in the community are still out of work or struggling to keep their families fed with good nourishing food. She says that their volunteers ensure that every family gets enough and many bags of groceries are hand-delivered to clients weekly. She closed off the letter by saying they’d appreciate any donation and thanking them for their help.
The Tri-Township Food Basket is located in Coe Hill and helps those in need in the townships of Wollaston, Limerick and Tudor and Cashel. Their mission, according to their Facebook page is “to identify poverty and food insecurity issues and respond with innovative programs, services and community partnerships that support individuals, families and the surrounding communities.” They started up back in May, 2013 and they operate under the umbrella of the North Hastings Community Cupboard. They are located at 5560 Hwy 620 and they can be reached through their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/tritownship-food-basket-food-bank/, by email at email@example.com or by calling 613-337-8616.
Mayor Carl Stefanski introduced the request from Burbidge for a donation to the food bank at the May 16 meeting, and invited discussion so council could give staff direction on it.
Tisdale told council that last year Limerick donated $1,000 in the spring and $1,000 at Christmas.
“They are requesting additional support for 2022,” she says.
In a motion brought forward by Councillor Glenn Locke and seconded by Councillor Jan MacKillican, council voted to provide $1,000 to the Tri-Township Food Basket for 2022.
Burbidge revealed that Limerick Township had been very good to the food basket in the past when she spoke to The Bancroft Times on May 18, and that they were thrilled that they were able to make such a significant donation for 2022.
“We do not receive any funding other than donations from the three townships and local groups and individuals. Last year, we received amazing donations from the Coe Hill Snow Riders, The Rock Cut grocery and the two local campgrounds; the Red Eagle and Bear Ridge,” she says.
Burbidge says that Tudor and Cashel and Wollaston have also provided much needed support, both monetary and in the form of help with grant applications and fundraising. She also wanted to acknowledge the support of Wendy Mortimer at the Coe Hill grocery store.
Burbidge says that recently, due to the pandemic, the food basket’s shelves have been emptier and donations have gone down, although they do continue to provide milk, eggs, cheese slices, yogurt, canned goods and bread to their clients. She says that in March, they served 19 unique households, with each household being entitled to visit the food bank every two weeks. At this time, needed items for them are peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, breakfast cereal and canned fruit.
“We are currently planning a yard sale for June 25 and an Open House in the fall. Please feel free to come and check it out,” she says.
Tisdale told The Bancroft Times on May 17 she wasn’t sure how long Limerick has been donating to the Tri-Township Food Basket.
“Limerick donated to them twice last year, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the struggles that came with it. We are now seeing extremely high inflation, so I imagine that even more residents will be utilizing this program. Typically, usership is split evenly between the three townships this food bank serves,” she says. “Limerick is always happy to help where we can.”
Michael Riley, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Bancroft Times