The Bargain Shop Thanksgiving donation drive to once more lend a hand to Salvation Army food bank

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

The Salvation Army and The Bargain Shop in Fort Frances are once again joining forces to help support families in need this holiday season.

Kicking off their campaign last Thursday, September 21, 2023, the Salvation Army Fort Frances and The Bargain Shop on Downtown Scott Street will be running a month-long donation drive to help stock up the Salvation Army’s food bank and provide non-perishable and long-lasting canned food items to those in need, particularly seniors, ahead of the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

The Bargain Shop manager Dawn Gray, along with Salvation Army Community and Family Services coordinator Ryan Daw, were both on hand to kick off the campaign. Daw noted that the need for donations to support the food bank are as crucial as ever, especially as the cost of living and food prices continue to increase.

“We’ve seen a significant rise in need for the food bank, that’s for sure, with inflation,” Daw said.

“There’s a lot of pressure on the food bank.”

This year’s campaign is specifically looking to collect donations of canned goods with easy to open lids, or other easily accessible food items, as many of the people making use of the food bank are seniors who might not have the manual strength or dexterity to use other openers.

“We have a lot of people who are in their late 80s that are receiving food banks, so there are a lot of people in the senior citizen community that can benefit from those,” Daw explained.

“We’re feeding a lot of seniors and the pop tops would make it extremely easy for them to access the food.”

Other popular food items to consider for donation would be anything that can sit on the shelf for an extended period of time, as that allows Daw to organize the donations and get it out to those who need it in a reasonable amount of time, without having to worry about it going off on the shelf. Items like Kraft Dinner, canned fish and vegetables, and other shelf-stable food items will always be usable by the food bank.

Even with the rise in costs across the board, which has led to the increased pressure on the food banks, Daw noted that the community has also stepped up and increased their donations as well.

“We’re seeing a lot of donations from the community,” he said.

“There’s been lots of people helping us out.”

Speaking on behalf of The Bargain Shop Fort Frances, Gray said they are excited to help support the Salvation Army, something they do regularly with their charity and food drive programs, and appreciate the support they see from the community during these campaigns.

“We here at The Bargain Shop just want to thank the community for their continued support of our Annual Food Drive, we strive to support the community wherever the need is and this year the need is helping to fill the food bank,” Gray said.

“We are excited to work with The Salvation Army to help fill their food bank and help ensure our community members have what they need to make this Thanksgiving and all days filled with good food.”

The Bargain Shop’s Annual Food Drive in support of the Salvation Army Fort Frances runs until October 5, 2023.

The Bargain Shop manager Dawn Gray, left, and Salvation Army Community and Family Services coordinator Ryan Daw helped kick off the annual donation drive held by The Bargain Shop Fort Frances in support of the Salvation Army’s local food bank on Thursday, September 21, 2023. People are encouraged to bring in easy-to-open, shelf stable food items like pop-top canned goods and non-perishable boxed goods that will allow seniors with limited manual strength or dexterity to access the food. – Ken Kellar photo