When Zoey Harris’ birthday arrived in June, she knew long beforehand she didn’t want to receive gifts at her party.
“I decided to shop for the Caring Cupboard to donate food,” she said. “People that don’t have food, or much things like that, can go to the Caring Cupboard.”
Ms Harris was inspired by her friend Kate Maynard, who had done the same thing in December 2018. Ms Harris knew by the time her birthday came around in June, most of the food Ms Maynard had donated would have been eaten, and she wanted to help fill the stocks at the West Prince Caring Cupboard.
As the school year wound down, she spread the word among her classmates about what she wanted to do, and raised $100 the day of her party. Ms Harris also raised money through various enterprises like selling art that she made, and creating a lemonade stand, and even emptied her piggy bank. After more friends heard about what she was doing, she received more donations, eventually totalling $298.16 altogether.
Marilyn Sweet, one of the volunteers at the West Prince Caring Cupboard, said she thinks it’s pretty amazing, and very heartwarming when a young person decides to do something like that.
“It’s going to be a great help, because this time of year there’s a lot of people using it,” she said.
Ms Harris met with Ms Sweet and Ms Sweet’s sister-in-law, Barb Sweet, at Bloomfield Foodland on Aug. 2 to pick out the groceries for the Caring Cupboard, purchasing things like tea bags, pancake mix, pancake syrup, soup, spaghetti sauce, beans, paper towel, toilet paper, dish soap, and cookies. Ms Sweet said when there are children in a family, it’s nice to have something like that to put in their lunches.
Along with the $300 in groceries purchased, Peter MacNeill, manager of the Foodland, matched every dollar Ms Harris raised, giving the Caring Cupboard a $300 donation.
“I think when a kid doesn’t ask for presents for her birthday and asks for money for donations to the Caring Cupboard, it’s the least we could do,” he said. “The people that use it would definitely be without if it wasn’t for the volunteers and everything that goes into it. It’s a lot of work to do it, but it’s vital for West Prince.”
Ms Sweet said gaging how many people use the cupboard can be difficult. Some Thursdays things are pretty quiet, while other days, there could be as many as 20 people or more who stop in for groceries.
The Bloomfield location for the West Prince Caring Cupboard is open every Thursday from 10 am to 12 pm at Saint Anthony’s Parish Hall.