An incredibly successful program gets hit by the pandemic

By Pepper Parr

August 4th, 2021



Food Bank Executive Director Robin Bailey put the situation in plain black and while.

An incredible record of performance

The damage the pandemic has done to the annual Gift of Giving Back food raising event is going to have a negative impact on what the food banks are able to do.

In the past, Jean Longfield and her team have done a superb job of rousing the team spirits of young people involved in sports and using that energy to produce tonnes of food that kept the food banks running quite well.

When Longfield came up with the idea in 2007 it just grew and grew – to the point where she was able to pass the idea along to other communities.

Jean Longfield talking to a television reporter about the success of the Gift of Giving Back program. John Tate is in the background.

This year, there will be a food drive – it won’t use the traditional Gift of Giving Back – instead they will work under the banner of xxx and work with Burlington Centre to create a location people can take food to and have it picked up from the cars parked in the lot.

It won’t be the same – the buzz that always existed around the Giving Back event was exciting; seeing student after student come into the high school gymnasium with cartons of food that other people would need was a sterling example of our young people learning to care for others.

For Jean Longfield this must be an anxious period of time. She put everything into making the program better year after year.

To be stopped in your tracks by a pandemic is understandable – but that doesn’t lessen the disappointment.

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