June 27th Miracle collects over 2-million pounds of food
WINDSOR, ONT. -- The total has been released for a massive Windsor-Essex food drive.
The June 27th Miracle collected 2-million pounds of food.
Organizers are now looking for volunteers to help with food sorting at the WFCU Centre. Anyone interested can register for available shifts.
Residents left food donations on their doorstep on June 27 and volunteers went around collecting the items.
Inspired by the success of Chatham-Kent’s May 16th Miracle, about 10,000 volunteers worked at over 40 drop-off locations on a food drive that spanned the county.
Kerri Zold, one of the members of the 10-person organizing committee, says she is still struggling to put into words what she experienced.
“I knew Windsor-Essex was a generous community, but the level of support was completely overwhelming,” says Zold. “So many people gave in one way or another – time, expertise, leadership, equipment, facilities, signs, food, the list goes on.”
Many volunteers worked in teams of family members or social circles to cover over 1,800 square kilometres by going home-to-home to pick up non-perishable food donations at many of the 182,000 houses and apartment buildings in the region.
Other volunteers staffed physically distanced rural drop-off depots, while residents stayed in their cars and volunteers removed items from their vehicle.
“We are all in awe of everyone that played a part in making this miracle,” says Zold. “The willingness to unite for a common goal like this is what makes Windsor-Essex such a fantastic place to live and work."
The donations went from front porches to arenas in less than 24 hours. Pallets of food filled arenas in Windsor and across Essex County.
Organizers have finished calculating a rough estimate of how much food was collected and the estimate is 2,020,500 lbs of food.
The items are being delivered to local food banks.
June Muir, President and CEO of the Windsor Essex Food Bank Association and the Unemployed Help Centre is thrilled.
“Without that help we don't know what we'd do because some of our fundraisers aren't going to happen this year, so what's happened truly is a miracle," says Muir.
She says the community just assured foodbanks can help those in need and struggling with finances during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"This food’s going to keep us going and we’re not sure how long this pandemic’s going to last for. We’re very fortunate. Windsor-Essex is very caring. The community has stepped up. That's what it's about, helping your neighbours, helping people in a tough time."
Organizers say the total could feed 28,850 households or 67,316 individuals for one year of food bank usage.