For 33 years, the Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive has been a holiday tradition for local families. Some giving, some receiving, and many having been on both sides of the equation. Over the years the campaign has provided more than 1,000 tons of food for the Sudbury Food Bank, thanks to the help of local individuals, businesses, service clubs and the Kids Helping Kids campaign.
This year’s campaign may be the most crucial to date as food insecurity in the Sudbury region has escalated due to the effects of Covid-19. But, the pandemic has also affected the number of physical, in-person food donations. Kids Helping Kids, a cornerstone initiative for the yearly food drive, was cancelled this year because it’s simply not safe for children to take part. And so, a virtual campaign was designed to bridge the gap between greater need and fewer food donations.
As Sudbury Food Bank Executive Director Dan Xilon explains, “We still need the same amount of food, whether we’re getting the cans or not. We actually need more. So, we’ve gone to the virtual campaign. Contactless donations protect the donor, protect us and can be done any time, day or night.”
The Power of One Dollar More
The real value in giving virtually is the power of the donated dollar. Thanks to partnerships with local farmers, Food Banks of Canada, Feed Ontario and Food Share Networks, the Sudbury Food Bank is able to more than quadruple the value of every donated dollar. The money can also be used to purchase fresh produce, meat and baked goods for families in need.
“This year, we can say that ‘One Dollar More’ equals six dollars’ value”, says Xilon. “Our job is to feed more people with the same funds we normally have – so it’s got to be stretched further. The Sudbury Food Bank will never say ‘no’ to a can of beans, but I can take that dollar and use it to buy four cans of beans.”
The Sudbury Food Bank provides food and supplies to 40 member agencies including centralized food banks and meal suppliers across the Greater Sudbury Region, from Onaping, to Hanmer, Capreol, Lively, Chelmsford, Coniston and Garson, and outlying communities including Espanola, Spanish River and Serpent River. While this year has been challenging, it has also shown how the community rallies when the need is greatest. “Thank you to the community for your support. Thank you to Vale and USW 6500 for their full support. This is really a synergy project between them. Thank you to all of the volunteers, and to the businesses that provide donation boxes,” says Xilon. “As our president, Melanie Dahl says, ‘We don’t expect anybody to feed everybody, but anybody can feed somebody’.”
Ways to Help
- Online at www.sudburyfoodbank.ca/edgarburton
- Cheque: Sudbury Food Bank - 1105 Webbwood Drive, Sudbury, Ontario, P3C 3B6
- Telephone: 705-671-9663
Non-perishable food donations are still welcome and gratefully accepted at participating retail locations and grocery stores.
For more information about the Edgar Burton Christmas Food Drive, click here.