Tim McAllister

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 maintains Christmas tradition at the mission


By Ron Giofu

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey maintained the tradition of the local Member of Parliament coming to serve meals at the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

Ramsey was at the mission again on Christmas Day were she volunteered to help serve Christmas dinner to those who attended. She was joined this year by her son Max.

“I got to know (mission president) Tim (McAllister) and got to know what they are doing,” the Essex MP said.

After initially being invited early in her first year as an MP to serve Thanksgiving dinner, Ramsey started doing Christmas that year as well and has been doing it the three years since she was elected. She indicated that it is a partnership she enjoys.

Essex MP Tracey Ramsey helped serve Christmas dinner at the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission. From left: Ramsey, Aisha Barry, mission president Tim McAllister, Ted Laporte and Wanda Lawhead.

“It’s a wonderful group of people who come to celebrate Christmas,” she said. “It’s a family here. Everyone knows each other.”

Ramsey added that she was happy to see the volunteers come together and help out that day as well.

“I think it’s a wonderful sense of community that Tim has built,” said Ramsey.

The objective is not just serving people food, she added, but also the ability to allow people to get together and enjoy Christmas with others.

“It’s about fellowship and having people get together and be a part of something,” she said.

“I believe in people helping people,” said McAllister. “I am not doing this alone as I have the support of the community and the volunteers.”

McAllister said the mission “lights up” every Christmas.

“You see that glow on people’s faces, both young and old, as they smile and interact with each other,” he said. “They are not alone on this day. Seeing this gives me the strength to do what I’m doing.”

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.

Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission gets WECF grant



By Ron Giofu


The Windsor-Essex Community Foundation (WECF) says it is “thrilled to announce that a total of $36,000 has been granted to six organizations to fund projects that will have a big impact in our community.”

The announcement took place WECF’s 159th meeting of the board of directors and 33rd annual general meeting and grant awards ceremony.

“The WECF is happy to support these local organizations and the many successful programs they provide in Windsor & Essex County,” said WECF executive director Lisa Kolody. “In addition to delivering much-needed funding, our Community Impact Grants serve as an opportunity for us to build viable partnerships in our community that will bring out the best Windsor/Essex has to offer.”

The organizations funded through the WECF Community Impact Grants include The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission, Brentwood Charity House, The Canadian Mental Health Association of Windsor Essex County, The Royal Canadian Legion Metropolitan Branch 594, The Southwestern Ontario Gleaners and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra (WSO).

Windsor-Essex Community Foundation grants $36,000 in funding to six local organizations, one of which being the Amherstburg Food & Fellowship Mission. (Submitted photo)

The WECF states that it “views its fund holders as community builders and assists to match their interests and strengths with community needs. The WECF is proud of its rich history of community building in Windsor-Essex, and looks positively toward the future as it continues to grow and inspire philanthropy. The WECF is thankful for its donors, volunteers, and supporters who are all so passionate about its work.”

Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission board president Tim McAllister said they are working towards purchasing a new van.

“The board of directors has been working very hard for a long time to have enough money to replace our van,” said McAllister. “The van we are currently using is getting too old and is costing a lot of money to maintain in good working order. It will be more cost efficient to get a new one.”

McAllister said the mission has been trying to grow the van replacement account for a while now.

“We have been blessed with some anonymous financial support along with a much appreciated grant from the Windsor-Essex Community Foundation in the amount of $8,000,” he stated. “There were 40 charities applying for a portion of this grant and we were one of the six chosen!”

Winter maintenance on the mission’s current van has been completed and McAllister said they will keep looking for more donations to add to the van replacement account. The Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission hopes to be in a position to purchase a new van by next spring.

The Windsor-Essex Community Foundation (WECF), originally founded in 1983 as Heritage Windsor, is a perpetual community trust for philanthropic purposes. It exists to manage donors’ legacy funds and make grants to support local community programs. Through grant making activities, the WECF is able to establish partnerships to assist a broad range of community organizations. To learn more about these programs and the ways they give back, visit www.wecf.ca.

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.