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Friday, August 12, 2022
Easter baskets provide a hearty meal to needy families

Niagara-on-the-Lake's Newark Neighbours is sending out 44 baskets containing a hearty meal – and much more – to brighten the Easter of people in need.

Each basket contains either a ham or turkey, a fresh baked pie, several boxes of stuffing mix, a five-pound bag of potatoes, carrots and onions, boxes of crackers and cookies, cans of peas, corn, green beans, pineapples, apple and cranberry sauces, chocolate bunnies, maple cookies — and even a small hyacinth.

“It's everything they need for an Easter dinner,” said food bank manager Cindy Grant, as she and a crew of women worked to pack the baskets at Cornerstone Community Church in Virgil on Tuesday.

The whole package is a town-wide effort, Grant said. The turkeys and hams were donated by Harvest Barn and Konzelmann Estate Winery. The pies are donated every year from Walker's Country Market. The other items were either donated or purchased from local businesses — the hyacinths from VanNoort Florists and the fresh potatoes, onions and carrots from Hendrik's Valu-mart in Old Town.

It also takes a community to help get the baskets out. A group of volunteers from Bethany Mennonite Church, organized by Dave Dick from Niagara Motors, personally delivered about 20 of the baskets to people who couldn't pick them up.

Everyone's circumstances are different, Grant said. “Some of our clients have a hard time. Sometimes they have a car and sometimes they don't.”

She said the whole project is possible thanks to the generosity of people who donate to Newark Neighbours.

“Thanks to everyone, as always, that has donated,” Grant said. “We could not have done it without the generosity of this town.”