Just before Christmas the Newark Neighbours’ packed food bank signified the extensive giving spirit of Niagara-on-the-Lake residents, but the organization has a strong need for donations now that the holiday season is over.
“It’s Christmas, everybody’s been so generous. We’ve got lots of treats, lots of things for the kids,” food bank manager Marion Ollerhead said when she was sorting final holiday boxes for pickup by clients before Christmas.
The thrift store and food bank is located just off John Street near the Riverbend Inn & Vineyard.
The small store doesn’t have much extra storage space, she said, so the bank fills quickly over the holidays.
But after all those donations are picked up, she said the shelves are empty and it can be a struggle to restock them for the almost 40 clients who rely on the food bank to supplement their meals.
“The food bank looks very different after the holiday. The bank gets depleted.”
Clients must apply and are accepted based on income. She said clients – families, couples or individuals – come in to pick up food every two weeks.
“We do Thanksgiving and all the major holidays,” she said, as well as regular pickups through the year.
Ollerhead said the organization is “incredibly grateful” for all the donations it receives, adding that she’d like to encourage people to keep the food bank in mind now that the holidays are over.
She said it can take a long time to restock over January and February.