Volunteer Marina Brescia (left) helps Tessa Murray, volunteer coordinator at the Shelter House, sort food donations at the Metro location on River Street during the organization's annual fall food drive on Saturday.
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The number of people in Thunder Bay relying on the Shelter House for meals is on the rise, which makes the need for food donations all the more imperative.
That’s the message from Tessa Murray, the volunteer coordinator of the Shelter House as she was speaking from the Metro location on River Street during the organization’s annual fall food drive on Saturday morning.
The fall food drive is the largest of the year for the Shelter House, and Murray said the annual event usually brings in around 4,000 kilograms of food.
“We feed about 200 people at each meal time so we’re feeding about 700 mouths a day so this food definitely helps us in our ability to feed the community in a mass-quantity,” Murray explained.
“We see that our shelter beds are consistently full. The number of people coming to the shelter to eat is definitely going up so we’re seeing a steady increase. We just want to be prepared so everyone gets fed.”
The drive was held at grocery stores throughout the city on Thunder Bay. Participating in the initiative were the three Metro locations, Westfort Foods, and the Walmart location on Memorial Avenue.
Murray estimated that meeting the donations goal will ensure that the organization is stocked with enough food to last at least until the Christmas season.
Volunteer groups present at the different sites included the Lakehead Thunderwolves men’s basketball team, St. John ambulance, OLG Casino, and the Thunder Bay Rotary Club.
Murray added that it’s difficult for staff to continue to see so many people in the city requiring assistance, and hopes the organization can play a role in helping those in need get back on their feet.
“It’s really tough for us. We see people that maybe have just had hard luck. We see people consistently, which is really tough. It’s something that we’re hoping will eventually get better. It’s something we don’t want to see continue,” she said.
“We’re hoping that by us offering this food we can help people better themselves in the long run.”
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