Six Nations food bank gets $20,000 donation after ‘Catch the Ace’ windfall

The food bank in Six Nations, Ont., was one of five to receive a $20,000 donation through the Hagersville District Lions Club Catch the Ace jackpot last week.

Mary Monture, board chair of the Six Nations Community Food Bank, said between 50 and 200 people use the food bank daily, and more on special occasions such as Christmas, Easter and through the summer months.

The recent donation will help “continue to purchase more food because our numbers keep going up,” Monture said.

Last year the Hagersville Lions Club’s Catch the Ace progressive jackpot raised about $18,000. This year it raised close to $2.8 million.

“We worked hard on getting the word out and … by week 38, 39, it had gotten really popular and then the media picked up on it and then it snowballed into uncharted territory,” said Dave Matten, Lions Club event chair.

Fifty per cent of the proceeds went to the West Haldimand Hospital and Healthcare Foundation, 30 per cent went to the Hagersville Food Bank and 20 per cent went to the Lions Club to distribute funds within the community and continue programming.

“Those days everything is so expensive, inflation is so high, costs are increasing, and people who were just on the verge are now in trouble and food banks have, more than ever, people come and seek help,” he said.

Hagersville Food Bank gets ‘huge windfall’

Food banks in Haldimand and Norfolk County have seen up to a 30 per cent increase in demand — and in the cost of food — in recent months, said Karen Leatherbarrow, board chair of the Hagersville Food Bank.

The Hagersville Food Bank received over $869,000 from the Lions Club following its Chase the Ace jackpot.

“When we received the money, we knew it was such a huge windfall for us and we definitely wanted to share it with other Haldimand food banks,” Leatherbarrow said.

Man hands woman a check, people stand by cheering.
Pieter Wonder, vice-chair of the Hagersville Food Bank, presents a check to Mary Monture, board chair of the Six Nations Community Food Bank. (Deborah Forest)

The Hagersville Food Bank gave the food banks in Cayuga, Jarvis, Caledonia, Dunnville and Six Nations each $20,000, and $44,500 to a school nutrition program.

Leatherbarrow said emotions ran high on both sides when they presented the checks.

“We’re the same way — it’s just, we were so thrilled to have this windfall and any windfall for anybody that works at a food bank, it just gives you goose bumps,” said Leatherbarrow.

The food banks are volunteer-run and rely on donations, with cash donations particularly beneficial, Monture said.

“Our purchasing power is better; we buy wholesale rather than retail,” she said.

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