KAWARTHA LAKES: Across the City of Kawartha Lakes, there are 14 food banks. This number often comes as a surprise to the public, but to the individuals who account for the over 12,000 visits to food banks last year, the service they receive is essential for ensuring their family’s needs are met in times of crisis. Of the 14 food banks in the City of Kawartha Lakes, 10 are members of the Kawartha Lakes Food Source (KLFS), a non-profit food distribution agency. These 10 food banks rely on the Kawartha Lakes Food Source to acquire, sort, store, and provide food and other essentials to them, so that food bank volunteers can focus on what they do well, serving their communities. Since the announced state of emergency, due to COVID-19, the Kawartha Lakes Food Source has received an outpouring of support, either in the form of donations or well wishes. “Over the past five weeks, we have been amazed by how the community has responded to our initial calls for support,” said Heather Kirby, Executive Director of the Kawartha Lakes Food Source. “With increased numbers of individuals served in March, and the cancellation of our spring food drive, we were growing increasingly worried that we would not be able to meet the need. But, with the help of all of [the] donors, new and old, we have been able to ensure that the families that look to our food banks for help during this time will be met generously with food and other essential items.” “We have been listening to food bank coordinators on the front lines, and to community members who have contacted us looking for ways to give back, and we are organizing an event which will allow connections to be made directly between both parties,” Heather continued. “In early April, we hosted our first Drive Thru Food Drive across 4 locations in Lindsay and received an overwhelmingly positive response, unfortunately though, hunger exists in all corners of the City of Kawartha Lakes. Therefore, we have organized for an expanded version of this food drive, with 13 locations across the municipality, including food banks that are not Kawartha Lakes Food Source members.” The Drive Thru Food Drive will take place on Wednesday, May 13th, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., at 13 different locations 1. Bethany/Pontypool Daily Bread Food Bank, 3 George St, Bethany 2. Bobcaygeon Helps Food Bank, 43 Sherwood Ave, Bobcaygeon 3. Coboconk Community Food Bank, 9 Northline Road, Concession 7, Coboconk (Civitan Club) 4. Dunsford Community Food Bank, 1981 Sturgeon Road, Dunsford 5. Fenelon Falls Salvation Army, 42 Bond St W, Fenelon Falls 6. Kawartha Lakes Food Source, 41 George St W, Lindsay 7. Kawartha Lakes Centre of Hope, 104 Lindsay Street South, Lindsay 8. Lindsay Salvation Army, 30 Peel Street, Lindsay 9. Lindsay Community Food Market, 125 Victoria Avenue North, Lindsay (Calvary Pentecostal Church) 10. Little Britain Community Food Bank, 1022 Little Britain Road, Little Britain (United Church) 11. Omemee Food Bank, 62 King St, Omemee 12. Women’s Resources, 50 Mary St W, Lindsay 13. Woodville/Eldon Food Bank – 100 A King St W, Woodville Donors are welcome to make their donation to whichever location best suits them, but the Kawartha Lakes Food Source strongly encourages individuals to donate to the food bank most local to them. “Each location will keep the food and funds they receive” explained Jessica Topfer, KLFS staff organizing this event. “So, when you donate to the food bank in your community, you’re feeding a close friend and neighbour”. Each location will have volunteers and/or signage to guide individuals through the drop off. If you participate, please be sure to respect social distancing, leaving 2 metres between yourself and anyone who volunteers or other donors. Cover your face adequately if you sneeze or cough and be sure to touch or handle as little as possible. If you are feeling unwell at all, or are considered a vulnerable person, please stay home. We appreciate every community member who shows us support, but the health and safety of the community is paramount. Food banks will still be here when COVID-19 is no longer such a significant threat, and they will still need your help then to get back on their feet. Items in greatest need now include: personal hygiene items, household items (toilet paper, etc.), pasta sauce, canned meats, crackers, and cereal. They will also accept financial donations during this Drive Thru Food Drive. Please be sure to make any cheques out to the food bank you visit. If you are uncertain of the formal name, ask upon your arrival, or call ahead.