‘Beautiful’: London involves the Christmas Meals Drive

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Despite a pandemic and uncertain economic times, the London Business Cares Food Drive has found a way to help.

A total of 588,000 pounds of food was collected this year, just slightly less than last year’s total of 597,000 pounds. Food donations increased while cash donations decreased only slightly.

Business Cares campaign chair Wayne Dunn is thrilled and shared his gratitude during a closing event on Wednesday.

“Our goal and desire today is to lift the spirit of the community at a time that I think we all need.”

During the event, one after the other, companies, workers’ groups and unions presented financial donations.

Often the checks were accompanied by a story of giving.

Many spoke of how those who have little have still found ways to donate to those with even less.

Wayne Dunn, campaign chair for Business Cares Food Drive, addresses an in-person and online audience at a closing event in London, Ontario. on Wednesday, December 22, 2021. (Sean Irvine/CTV News).

Business Cares’ donations are more than appreciated by Jane Roy, Co-Executive Director of the London Food Bank.

“In the last year and a half of this pandemic, almost two years, the community has strengthened and it’s been wonderful.”

And the extra community effort will be needed by the end of 2021 more than most realize.

Roy confirms the food bank had its second busiest month ever in November, with nearly 3,600 families and individuals seeking help.

Without the support of Business Cares, this help would be impossible to provide, she says.

“When things get tough, people give too,” she says.

Jamie Monteiro, a key volunteer at Business Cares Food Drive in London, Ontario, is also an emergency room nurse during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. (Sean Irvine/CTV News)

And “giving” is what Jamie Monteiro exemplifies. She has donated countless hours to supporting the charity and has also served as an emergency room nurse during the pandemic.

Despite the stress of her day job, she finds solace in dedicating her limited free time to business care.

“I love giving back to the community. I see the need every day in the homeless people that come in.”

The food collected during the Business Cares will be sorted and distributed to those in need in the new year.