Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission

Essex Powerlines employees help out at Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission



By Ron Giofu


Essex Powerlines Corporation (EPL) states they are “committed to making a difference in the communities they serve” and have gone to some area food banks and missions to prove it.

Staff from Essex Powerlines were at the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission recently helping to prepare the noon meal and Amanda Panetta, marketing and conservation analyst with Essex Powerlines, said it is part of their campaign to have customers switch to paperless billing. For the first 1,000 customers who switched by Dec. 7, Essex Powerlines will make a $10 donation to local food banks.

“Part of the (campaign) is getting out into the public and see what goes on and see how we can help,” said Panetta.

Chris Carr, customer service manager with Essex Powerlines, said it was a good chance to get out in the community and see firsthand how non-profit groups work.

“We thought it was a good opportunity to find out what they do and help out,” said Carr.

Amanda Panetta, Chris Carr, Alicia Gewarges and Joe Tracey from Essex Powerlines were at the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission recently helping to serve the noon meal. Mission president Tim McAllister is second from left.

Carr said they work in the communities every day, so it was a chance to also get educated about some of the good work that is happening. They are also planning on helping out in Leamington and Tecumseh.

Workers of Essex Powerlines also visited St. Andrew’s LaSalle Community Food Bank last week to lend a helping hand. The volunteers helped with storage of assorted food items.

St. Andrew’s LaSalle Community Food Bank provides nutritional and healthy foods to approximately 70 families in need on a monthly basis.

“The people of LaSalle never cease to amaze us. Just when you think you can’t be surprised, someone (EPL) from the community steps up. That’s the joy of a small community!” said Deb Wilkinson, St. Andrew’s LaSalle Community Food Bank.

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister was happy for the extra hands.

“It’s very important for people to see what we do here to help the community,” said McAllister.

“It brings us great joy to be able to give back to the communities we serve. We recognize that there is a greater need to support our local food banks leading up to the holiday season and are happy to help wherever we can. Signing up for paperless billing presents a simple way for our customers to give back to the community and help make a difference,” stated added Joe Barile, general manager of Essex Powerlines.


Local hockey team raise 500+ canned goods for Mission



By Christian Bouchard


A local hockey team is learning the true meaning of sportsmanship.

The Amherstburg Novice Major hockey team braved the -3 degree weather to collect canned goods for the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

Head coach Jean-Marc Mongeau said the event was also a team building event. He noted it’s important to give back to those in need within the community.

The seven and eight-year-old hockey players divided into five groups and went door-to-door to collect on Boblo Island as well as the River Canard, Crownridge, Kingsbridge, Pointe West and Golfview subdivisions.

While numbers aren’t yet final, team manager Kari Dufour estimates well over 500 cans were donated.

The Amherstburg Stars novice major team collected over 500 canned goods for the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

“It’s important to give back to the community and do things aside from hockey,” said Dufour. “The kids look up to these NHL players. While they have money, our kids have their time to help make a difference.”

Also donated were hats, mittens, coats and even monetary donations.

Mongeau said it’s important for the kids to learn at a young age to help out their community.

“They understand there’s a huge commitment when it comes to hockey but there’s more to it than just the hockey piece,” said Mongeau.

“They now have in their minds they can do things to help, even at seven and eight-years-old,” said Dufour. “There’s lots of things to do in the community to help.”





Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission holds AGM



By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission held its annual general meeting (AGM) last week and handed out some awards in the process.

The AGM was held last Wednesday night at the mission with board president Tim McAllister outlining the year that went by. He also thanked board members, volunteers and those who have supported the mission.

“We have had a good year thanks to all of you and the tremendous support from our community,” McAllister told those in attendance. “You have all made a difference through helping with donations and collecting tangible items.”

McAllister noted that the roof was recently replaced and that the hot water tank was also replaced.

“Things happen,” he said. “We trust God and He will provide.”

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission will soon start fundraising for a new van.

“Changes are and will always be occurring here at the mission because it is a basic condition of life, necessary for growth,” McAllister stated.

Board members with the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission include (back row, from left): president Tim McAllister, secretary Shannon Dobson, Jim Ferrar, Paul Kascjak. Front row (from left): Tammy Pasceri, vice president, Anne Fox and Lana Talbot. Not pictured are Sheila Jaroszewicz, Violet McAllister and Kim Cabanaw. All are volunteers.

McAllister said the mission is in its 23rd year and that he will continue to serve as president. He said the board is made up of volunteers who live up to the motto of “people helping people.”

“I ask that you all stay tuned because the best is yet to come!” said McAllister. “We will continue to work diligently to build and pursue new partnerships and maintain our current ones. We will continue to modify programs to meet the needs of the community with the resources available.”

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission encourages people through its Wednesday breakfasts, hot meals throughout the week, the baby food program, the emergency food bank and computer programs with McAllister stating that could only be done through monetary donations and the dedication of the volunteers and supporters.

“As we continue to partner with the Essex County court system, the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission provides a placement for young offenders,” said McAllister. “We also support school students who seek voluntary hours for academic requirements. We continue to modify our system with the Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association and have implemented procedures and requirements that satisfy our funders.”

Mission president Tim McAllister (left) presents a volunteer award to Inez Zapata-Fox.

McAllister added the mission’s reporting is transparent and assures that it is accountable in utilizing public funds appropriately.

“Our community’s needs continue to increase and change. As we focus on tailoring our services, our efforts will remain on meeting the greatest needs within our community,” he added. “People in Amherstburg and the surrounding communities are still finding it difficult to make ends meet and the number of people accessing our services for hot meals, both adults and children, continues to increase.”

The number and effectiveness of the volunteers is stable, McAllister reported, and events run smoothly.

“Our funding campaigns continue to be strong,” he said. “Once again, I am glad to report that we have successfully established annual events that continue to grow each year.”

Such events that the mission has presented include the brunch at Ducks on the Roof, a barbecue at Sobeys, a fundraiser at No Frills, having all 100 of their new chairs sponsored, the annual golf tournament and the tambola.

“We would like to put emphasis on our fundraising efforts as we continue to rely on our volunteers, their ideas, their efforts and their passion,” said McAllister. “At the same time, we continue to rely on the generosity of our community.”

Marilyne Fortune (right) receives a volunteer award from Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister.

McAllister added that “everyone contributes in their own way and that’s what makes the mission a special place.”

The mission’s board also includes vice president Shirley Hitchcock, John Drop, Paul Kascjak, Tammy Pasceri, Sheila Jaroszewicz, Lana Talbot, Shannon Dobson, Anne Fox and Jim Ferrar. The operational support team includes Violet McAllister and Kim Cabanaw.

“We all do what we can when we can,” said Hitchcock.

Hitchcock noted that so far this year, the mission had served over 10,000 hot meals this year and distributed 329 food baskets.

Mission president Tim McAllister blows out candles on his birthday cake. His 64th birthday was celebrated the same night as the mission’s annual general meeting Sept. 19.

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission also honoured a pair of its volunteers. Inez Zapata-Fox and Marilyne Fortune were honoured this year for their contributions to the mission.

“It’s part of my daily routine,” said Fox, with Fortune added that she greatly enjoys working at the mission.

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission is located at 298 Victoria St. S. and their phone number is 519-736-9140. For more information, visit or “like” them on Facebook at


OCWA donates $1,100 to Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission


By Ron Giofu


The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) hit the links recently and the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission benefited.

OCWA held its annual golf tournament Aug. 17 at Seven Lakes Golf Course in LaSalle and Dan Rawlins, operations manager of the Essex hub, said they raise money for a charity of their choosing every year. This year, it was the mission.

The golf tournament featured 28 participants this year, Rawlins said, with much of the proceeds being raised through raffle draws.

Rawlins added they read in the River Town Times about new chairs being needed at the mission, so that is why OCWA decided in favour of the donating there this year.

The Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) held its annual golf tournament last month with the proceeds from it – $1,100 – being donated to the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister said the donation from OCWA is factored into the 95 sponsorships the mission has received thus far for the 100 new chairs.

“We are thankful for this generous donation,” said McAllister.

There are still five donations that are needed to complete the chair sponsorship project, but McAllister is pleased with how it has gone thus far.

“We still can’t believe it,” said McAllister. “It was so fast how we accumulated the sponsorships for the new chairs. We are excited.”

The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission is located at 298 Victoria St. S. and can be reached by calling 519-736-9140 or visiting

Mission’s call for chair sponsorships gets positive results

By Ron Giofu


The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission put out a call recently for sponsorships for their new chairs and the community responded.

The first 50 of the new black chairs, which replace the aging second-hand chairs they’ve had for seven years, arrived last Thursday. When the call went out in the Aug. 15 edition of the River Town Times, the mission had already picked up 27 sponsorships. As of last Thursday afternoon, they had 95 of the 100 chairs sponsored.

The second shipment of 50 chairs is due later this year. They will be stored and used for special events.

Shirley Hitchcock, vice president of the mission’s board of directors, said they are thrilled with the new chairs.

“We are so excited,” said Hitchcock. “There is not any other community like ours. It’s unbelievable.”

The old chairs will be donated to a parish that one of the board members attends.

Members of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission’s board of directors and volunteers celebrate the arrival of new chairs last Friday afternoon. Seated (from left): Lana Talbot, Inez Zapata-Fox, Violet McAllister and Liz Foslett. Back row: Tim McAllister, Kim Cabanaw, Shirley Hitchcock and Jon Hitchcock.

“We have a church that really does need them,” said Hitchcock.

Mission president Tim McAllister noted the people who come to the mission are excited and happy to get the new chairs.

“I think this is the first time we’ve had new chairs,” said McAllister. “We have always had used chairs.”

McAllister added they have been able to paint and fix up under the tabletops at the mission as well with volunteers and those who use the mission helping out.

“Everyone stepped up and made the job easy,” he said. “This place is like home to them. Everyone wants to play a part in the success of the mission.”

The fact that others are joining in to help out allows McAllister to “sit back and smile.”

Hitchcock added the volunteers at the mission have been tremendous with the volunteer board of directors also being very active.

If anyone wishes to sponsor a chair or donate to the mission in any way, visit, call 519-736-9140 or stop by the mission at 298 Victoria St. S.