Renfrew County’s eleven food banks have set up a website to encourage those who need help to seek it out and to tell those who want to support their community’s food banks how to do it.
The site www.RenfrewCountyFoodBanks.ca was set up and designed by three volunteers from Stone Fence Theatre, which is idle this year due to the pandemic. It was built by Evan Burgess of Blue North Studios with artwork by Eganville artist Beverly Lewis (Above shows poster cropped, and management and text by Stone Fence Theatre’s producer Ish Theilheimer.
“We are very pleased that this website enables us to reach a lot of people who we couldn’t previously,” said Cheryl Paquette, a volunteer with the Petawawa Pantry food bank who helps coordinate the County’s food bank network. “Our volunteers work very hard to provide an essential service, but communications and outreach are not always our first priorities. So it’s great that these talented locals have stepped forward to help us. It’s really a boost.”
The site lists all the County’s food banks, where to find them, their hours of operation, and how to donate to them. It also features a news section and contacts for a variety of social services.
“COVID-19 has put a lot of people out of work and left them and their families without enough to eat,” says the website’s homepage. “Help is available, but some people aren’t coming forward to get help from local food banks. Some people who need food simply don’t know it is available. Others may feel uncomfortable about asking for help. We want people to know that our food banks are run by neighbours who really care and want to help other during stressful situations.” Ms. Paquette says she hopes the site will help address some of these problems. “Really, it’s all about neighbours helping neighbours,” she says.