WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor Lifeline Outreach is receiving a $288,406 boost in food contribution thanks to a local grocery store.

MR Meat Markets announced Wednesday the store has broken the quarter-million-dollar mark (and counting) in food donations to the organization this year as the need has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During this pandemic, there was a large increase in clients requesting food,” Nello Paolini, Windsor Lifeline Outreach president, said in a news release. “WLO recognized the need to deliver skids of food to agencies that had set-up distribution sites in low-income areas of Windsor/Essex county”

Howard Mulder, board member and food distribution director with the organization said WLO has gone from trying to serve 750 families per month to about 2,000, including some senior buildings.

“WLO wishes to thank MR Meat Markets who graciously came to the rescue by donating skids of food on a continual basis during this pandemic. Without their help we would not have met this increased demand,” Mulder said.

Windsor Lifeline Outreach works to help at-risk community members transition out of difficult times.

“When we heard about the stark increase in demand that WLO was facing, as lifetime community members, we felt a responsibility to do everything we could to keep families fed,” said Marc Romualdi, MR Meat Markets owner. “We are a Windsor based business and we work in the interests of the community we serve. We challenge our colleagues, namely big-box stores, to join us in our efforts and ensure every family in need is fed throughout the year.”