'It was quite a shock': Guelph retirement community donates over $14K to the food bank

The pandemic is hitting the Guelph Food Bank hard, with increased demand and fewer donations.

So, Ted Smith and Marliee Asher decided to rally the other residents of the Villages by the Arboretum retirement community in Guelph to make donations to the food bank.

“I think right now we're more aware of the situation of many of our fellow citizens in Ontario. We have to help. Those of us that are in a position to help, we need to help,” said Smith.

“They were very enthusiastic! People here just need a cause and somebody to organize it, and once we did that they were all in," said Asher.

The call was put out in their local newsletter and on their online portal, and late last week the food bank was able to pick up just over 1,400 pounds of food and roughly $14,000.

“To have such a short spanned fundraiser that brings in so much, it was quite a shock and quite awesome,” said Pauline Cripps, an administrator with the Guelph Food Bank.

This isn't the first time the residents have made such a sizeable donation, and heading into the Easter weekend Cripps said they are extremely grateful.

“I think we're surprised ourselves how much we collect each time,” said Smith. “And to see it grow from the original $7,000 last just to $14,000 this time is just phenomenal.

This is all in addition to another donation from residents last October bringing the financial donation total over the last year to $34,000.

The Guelph Food Bank is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Once a Guelph address is verified, an individual or family can be registered and access a food hamper on the spot.

Smith and Asher are hoping to inspire other retirement communities to give back, and are looking to organize another food bank fundraiser heading into the summer.