Close to 20 years ago, Pastor Danny Groening of the Killarney Mennonite Church wanted to inspire in their young people the act of giving and building their community through volunteerism (and helping out their local food bank at the same time) by collecting non-perishables on Halloween night.
At that time the youth group canvassed only a portion of the town of Killarney as they could manage, but eventually the Lakeside Community Church joined in the effort, and ever since that time October 31st has been a night when folks prepare for the youth and adult volunteers to pick up their bags or boxes of groceries on their way through town!
It's been a win-win-win for everyone!
"Ever since we started doing the town-wide collection, it's been a fabulous response from the whole town," shares Pastor Danny. "We have anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of non-perishable food items that we collect every year and it's always a great thing to be able to deliver that to the Killarney Foodbank and see the room get filled, and the shelves get filled."
"It's always a real boost for the foodbank," he adds, "because going into the time of year going into winter, so the whole town has come to count on it, and the foodbank has come to count on it as they factor it into their equation as to what to expect for donations."
In the past the volunteers would ring doorbells and knock on doors, but Covid changed that format, so folks learned to leave their bags or boxes of food out on their front doorstep if they chose to participate.
Pastor Danny says this was a perfect way for their volunteers to make a pick-up and delivery to the church much easier and faster, and it took away that awkward asking for a donation at every house. All items are brought to the Lakeside Community Church gymnasium and sorted, then delivered to the Killarney Foodbank.
"The town really steps up every year and so we're anticipating the same for this year," he adds. "Killarney residents have been such a blessing to the local food bank over the past 20 or so years, and we thank you."
If you would like to donate to the Killarney Food Bank on October 31st, please have your items at your front door or yard where the bag or box can easily be seen by the volunteers by 5:30 pm, and if you live in an apartment building, please leave your items in the lobby or foyer.
Do listen to more with Pastor Danny Groening on the October 31st Food Drive below!
In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, Discover Westman encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the DiscoverWestman app.