Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission

Essex Empowerment Girls Group helps mission during holiday season



Special to the RTT


The Essex Empowerment Girls Group did their part to assist the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission during the holidays.

Mackenzie Robson, one of the leaders of the group, said it was a collaborative effort.

“The girls decided to host a fundraiser. We thought of a can drive because it is Christmas (giving time) and the Amherstburg Mission is close to home,” said Robson. “We spent one week creating posters and advertised in schools, workplaces of parents and with family and friends. The girls were given the idea and they took the reins to plan and execute it.”

Robson added: “It was amazing to see that my co-worker, Natasha Kitka, and I could inspire this group of girls to take on such a great project, and to watch them work together to give back to the community.  We are constantly telling them that ‘change starts with yourself in baby steps’ and they literally put my words into action. I couldn’t be more proud.”

The girls in the group had many good reasons for wanting to help out.

The Essex Empowerment Girls Group held a can drive before the holidays for the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship MIssion. (Special to the RTT)

Hannah Miller said she wanted to do the fundraiser “so I could help the people who need it” while Violet Reynolds stated she wanted to do it so “I could show that I could put others before myself during the giving Christmas season.”

“When you do something for other people, it makes you feel good inside,” added Ashley Durocher.

Violet Reynolds said she felt “good about it because we’re giving it to the people that need it more than we do.”

“(It) made me feel like I was caring for people that I didn’t even know,” added Kaycie Hebert.

Miller stated that “it me feel happy because we were caring for people who deserve help” while Ruby Reynolds said it “makes me feel happy inside helping people who can’t afford a Christmas dinner.”

The best part of the fundraiser for Kairi Wheeler was that “we were giving things to people and made me feel happy inside” with Kayce Hebert adding “we got to give to those without.”

“Seeing all the cans were collected, knowing it would go to a good cause” was what Elza Wade stated was the best part of the fundraiser for her.



General Amherst students donate to the local food mission



By Christian Bouchard


A group of General Amherst students turned a project into a good deed.

Jaclyn Balogh, the teacher of the Grade 10 civics and careers course at General Amherst said she created a small business global issues project with the idea of thinking globally but acting locally.

“I assigned a project with the idea of researching something the students were passionate about and find out how we can take a global issue and help out locally,” said Balogh. “They decided to do this all on their own and bought into it.”

All 28 students presented their discoveries to the class in small groups. However, the students wanted to take it one step further. As a class, they had many different presentations ranging from human trafficking to hunger. They voted on the best option to help out with locally, with hunger being the chosen issue.

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister sits with civics and careers students at General Amherst High School. The class recently made a donation of cash and food items to the mission

The students chose to collect canned goods for the Amherstburg food mission as it was a global issue they knew they could help out on a local scale.

Students chose the local mission noting that “hunger exists everywhere and that not everyone is as fortunate as they are.

Although the students were guided with ideas and motivation from their teacher, Balogh was blown away with her student’s efforts. The students collected 350 cans and sold an additional 320 candy grams to raise $550. According to Balogh, there was even a donation from Integrity Tool and Mold which helped pay for the initial startup costs for the candy grams.

Alexis Dicarlo, a student in the careers/civics class, said the project helped her realize even though her classmates are young people they can make a big difference.

“I think doing this opened our eyes,” said Dicarlo. “Seeing a lot of people don’t have what we take for granted every day makes you really grateful.”


Ramsey helps out food banks in riding, including Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission



By Christian Bouchard


The downtown Amherstburg Food and Fellowship mission is stocking up for the holiday seasons thanks to a donation from the local NDP Member of Parliament.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey and her team collected canned good for 20 days to help keep the shelves of the local food banks full this holiday season. Ramsey asked for people to set up a box in their home and every day place one canned good or non-perishable item in the box. In the end, the boxes would be dropped off at her office and be picked up by one of the eight local missions in the riding of Essex. The cans were distributed evenly amongst all food banks in Essex County.

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister stands with a van full of canned goods and other non-perishable items that were distributed by Essex MP Tracey Ramsey’s office.

“The generosity of people is incredible,” said Ramsey. “Unfortunately the need is growing across all five food banks in our municipalities. We know people are living with food insecurities. It really shows the vulnerability of rural communities.”

According to Tim McAllister, the president of the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, the cans will help with those going through difficult times and to stock up as the number of donations starts to fall off after Christmas.

“When I see these cans, I see joy,” said McAllister. “People are going through difficult times and these cans will come to help us help them. We’re thankful to be part of this great festive occasion.”

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey chats with Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission president Tim McAllister.

McAllister also noted the mission puts on a Christmas dinner every year. He estimates he cooked 100 pounds of turkey last year.

“We don’t want people to spend Christmas alone,” added McAllister. “Anyone is welcome to come in and enjoy the day at the mission.”

Although McAllister, along with four other food banks left with a van full of canned goods, he added there are always people in need and the mission is always accepting donations.

“People can come in anytime and drop off donations and we are always grateful for what we get,” said McAllister.

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.”