Last month, the Manitouwadge Food Bank celebrated 40 years of service. Founded by Carol Baye and Diane Preston and started in a closet, this organization has provided support and access to food for countless individuals and families in Manitouwadge. Their work has continued to inspire and provide hope to the community.
And fortunately, they are not alone. Throughout our region and over the years, food banks and organizations that provide access to food have been an important support system for people. Walking into any of these places you will find volunteers who generously organize, coordinate, stock, cook, serve, and clean. You will find food and equipment provided by individual and corporate donations. You will find the heart of a community.
The idea of food banks and community access to food is born from a sense of collective responsibility for our neighbours and fellow community members; usually started by caring individuals who come together for the greater good. They exemplify an understanding that circumstances for individuals and families can change drastically, and there can be challenging times for anyone. Being fed and access to food is held sacred.
During the pandemic, many of these organizations adjusted quickly to maintain and continue with food bank access, community meals, school food programs, and boxes for delivery. The need grew, as did the support from government, organizations, businesses, and individuals. Everyone working to protect each other. To this day, these organizations and volunteers are steadfast in their work to provide food to everyone who needs it.
Thank you to the numerous people and organizations found throughout our region who work with a mandate of feeding people with compassion, treating people with dignity, and providing hope in the darkness. Your work does not go unnoticed.
Honourable Patty Hajdu, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North