Food drives support local economy

As we enter mid-November, the holiday season is upon us. Christmas teas and bazaars are being held across the region while many communities have their annual Christmas parade just around the corner.
One of my favourite aspects of the holiday season is the opportunity to celebrate simple acts of kindness, which seem to mean so much more during this time.
While we may not have the opportunity to see first-hand the smile of children who receive a gift on Christmas morning as a result of our goodwill, or to sit at the table with a family who is able to enjoy a meal as a result of donations to a food bank, we all understand and appreciate the difference these efforts make.
In my life, I’ve been both the beneficiary and the benefactor of goodwill and I strongly believe I have a duty to “pay it forward” when I am fortunately able.
It is for this reason that I want to provide an extra incentive to two causes I strongly support: helping those in need and supporting the local economy by shopping local.
While the two ideas may seem mutually exclusive, the fact is that both are about helping families put food on the table. We sometimes forget that purchasing goods at local shops, farmers’ markets, and craft shows helps keep jobs in our community.
Money spent at a local store supports not only jobs at that store, but that money stays in the community and is used to make other purchases, supporting other jobs and providing further opportunities in the community.
It is for this reason that I’m launching a “Support our Local Economy Food Drive” across the region.
The idea is simple. By dropping off non-perishable food items or a toy for a local toy drive at one of my constituency offices in Dryden, Fort Frances, or Kenora, or at select locations in Ignace, Pickle Lake, Rainy River, Red Lake, and Sioux Lookout, you will be provided with a ballot for a chance to win a gift certificate to a local business of your choice.
You will receive an extra ballot if your donation was bought locally.
Once all of the ballots are collected, one name will be drawn from each of the eight participating communities to win a $50 gift certificate.
There also will be two riding-wide grand prizes: one gift certificate for $200 and another for $100.
Winners will be able to choose which Kenora-Rainy River business their certificate will be made out to.
My goal is to give people an added incentive to dig a little deeper in their support of these important community initiatives while also encouraging people to support local businesses.
Any organization or business in a community that would like to be a partner with this initiative can contact my office at 1-800-465-8501 to get involved or e-mail scdryden@ndp.on.ca.
I will announce the full list of drop-off locations later in the week.
The full list also will be available on Facebook at facebook.com/Sarah4NWO, Twitter at @Sarah4NWO, and on my personal website at Sarah4NWO.ca

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