Working together to build great communities takes a lot of effort and goodwill to accomplish. Sharing with the less fortunate in our communities is a core value we embrace in rural Ontario. There is no better example to point to then to look at the social commitment made by business partners who have chosen to support local food banks.
One shining example of what can be done is the accomplishment of the Huron County Foodbank Distribution Centre; a charitable organization housed in Centralia, just south of Exeter, Ontario. A core value of this organization is to work with socially conscious businesses to distribute fresh, healthy foods to area food banks. According to Executive Director MaryEllen Zielman, over 500,000 pounds of goods were distributed to area food-banks in 2014! It looks like 2015 will close out with similar volumes.
Delivering fresh goods is challenging, requiring key producer partners to make it all happen. One of these partners is Exeter Produce and Storage in Exeter. According to MaryEllen, Exeter Produce has donated thousands of pounds of fresh produce, which has been distributed to a multitude of grateful clients. She says, “…Exeter Produce’s support has been awesome!”
Exeter Produce traces it’s involvement with local food banks to 2013. According to company spokesperson Brian Henderson, Exeter Produce extends its food bank support beyond Huron County boundaries. The company also supplies London and Stratford food banks. The dollar value so far is in excess of a half-million dollars. This includes contributions to the Huron County Foodbank, the London Food Bank and the Local Community Food Centre in Stratford. Exeter Produce has also contributed to another fresh food program, the Huron Food Box, located in Clinton. “That’s healthy nutrition going to families that are in need.”
Of course, business involvement in this endeavor is only part of the story. It takes many committed volunteers to “connect all the dots” and a vision that keeps everything on track. The Huron County Foodbank vision statement probably says it best, “…working together to make hunger non-existent in our communities.”
We all benefit from living in a healthy community. Thank you everyone who is contributing to this important undertaking.