Aldershot Groups Work Together to Alleviate Food Shortages in a time of crisis

News 100 blueBy Jim Young

March 30th, 2020


Jim Young reports on how the Aldershot community is dealing with the COVID 19 crisis.

Those of you who pay attention to what happens in Aldershot, and we know that is everybody in Burlington, have probably heard by now that a group of us out in our city’s wild west are organizing twice weekly food drives to help keep Burlington Foodbank supplied and helping those who need help amid the Covid 19 crisis.

In such times the need for food is greater and in a medical pandemic not only does the need increase but the logistics of supplying foodbanks get more complex and run the risk of food donations drying up completely.

People who might normally donate food are socially and physically distancing themselves, staying home hesitant to venture out of doors. Volunteers who help with collection and distribution of food are less readily available, afraid to expose themselves and families or may even be sick themselves

People are hoarding food and reluctant to share. Hoarding produces a double hit on foodbanks. Fewer personal donations are available and empty store shelves leave grocery chains unable to make the donations of surpluses they regularly provide.

As a result many organizations that provide food for the needy and the hungry, have closed their doors. The lack of donations and the fear of physical contact involved in normal foodbank operations, have forced Halton Compassion Society, like many charitable and church food supply organizations to close down indefinitely.

Faced with a reduction in food donations at a time when the need is greatest, the Outreach Committee at St Matthew Anglican Church, on Plains Rd. are doing something to help. In conjunction with Partnering Aldershot Seniors Committee and Engaged Citizens Ward 1 Group they are collecting non-perishable food donations on behalf of Burlington Foodbank two days per week.

St Matthews Aldershot

Food donations get dropped off at the front door – out of the weather – they are taken inside moments after they are dropped off.

In an inventive way of collecting donations safely, while limiting personal physical contact, these good folks have established a drive through donation drop off at St. Matthew Anglican Church. This allows donors to continue supporting Burlington’s only operating foodbank safely in this time of crisis and caution.

Supervised from behind the church’s glass frontage, donors drive around the circular driveway, stop by the wooden skids on the sidewalk, get out, safely deposit their donation in bags or boxes and drive off with thanks from the volunteer on duty inside. Donations are accepted Monday and Wednesday from 12.00 noon to 3.00pm.

As 3.00 approaches volunteer drivers arrive one at a time on a pre-arranged schedule to load the donations into their cars. Again “No Contact” is the watchword. Bagged and boxed donations are delivered to Burlington Foodbank on Old Plains Road. At the foodbank wheeled polyethylene laundry hampers await. Drivers transfer the bags from their cars to the carts again with no physical person to person contact involved. Drivers practice safe hygiene protocols for themselves and their vehicles.

Burlington Foodbank has its own quarantine and sanitation protocols in place to ensure that cross contamination of containers and packaging is minimised. Distribution of food hampers will be continued by Burlington Foodbank but will be modified to a delivery model rather than traditional individual pick-ups. Those in need should contact (905 637 CARE (2237).

Our hope is that this process will allow food donations to the foodbank to continue and, as word gets out, to increase from the current extremely reduced levels.

As the only currently safe method of making food donations, Burlington Foodbank is recommending that the Drive-Thru Donations at St Matthew be utilized rather than risky, individual donations at its Old Plains Rd. outlet.

At a time like this, monetary and grocery gift card donations are the most hygienic, non-contact way to donate and we urge people of Burlington to give generously in this way.

For those without the means to donate financially or who may be suffering buyer’s remorse at overstocking during the first days of panic buying, we hope to provide a way to continue giving safely in compliance with physical distancing protocols.

St Matthew’s Outreach Committee, Partnering Aldershot Seniors and Engaged Citizens Ward 1 Group exemplify all that is good about Aldershot, and Burlington. Help us continue to help those in need when the need is greatest.

Connie Price, Grace Anne Wilbur, Jim Young.
Connie is a member of St Matthews Anglican Church and Partnering Aldershot Seniors Committee. She is also a biggie on United Empire Loyalist matters.
Grace Anne is the Chair of St Matthews Anglican Outreach.
Jim is a member of ECoB Ward 1, Partnering Aldershot Seniors, Burlington Seniors and Inclusivity Advisory Committees.

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