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Desperate need at Hope Chapel's clothing, food bank this month

‘Over a two-week period, we went from full shelves to nothing,’ says pastor
Hope Chapel
Jane Peck is the lead pastor at Hope Chapel, located on Cameron Street in Collingwood.

Hope Chapel in Collingwood could use a little help helping others as the weather turns colder.

The Cameron St. chapel is asking the public for help in stocking its community cupboard, run in conjunction with the Mobile Soup Kitchen. The program provides clothing, fresh/frozen and shelf-stable food items, as well as toiletries and cleaning supplies to individuals needing help on a supplementary basis, free of charge.

However, despite the church spending $1,300 a month of its own funds to fill the cupboard, as of Oct. 13, it is already bare for this month.

“We have seen so many new people this month,” Pastor Jane Peck told CollingwoodToday. “Over a two-week period, we went from full shelves to nothing.”

The community cupboard program first started in 2020 in conjunction with Youth Unlimited, and started primarily as a free service offering clothing and household items, called The Door.

Over time, the program evolved in line with the changing needs of the community to become what it is now.

“People are free to come in. We don’t keep a list. If you see something here you need, please feel free to take it,” said Peck.

At the beginning of 2023, Peck was the church was spending $800 a month to fill the cupboard. Mid-year, when it was no longer enough, Peck spoke to her congregation and asked to double the budget, to roughly $1,300 a month.

“I spend about $400 a week just to top things up, but it’s not enough,” she said.

Peck says the cupboard is most in need of fresh food (like dairy, eggs, margarine, yogurt and fresh produce), frozen food (like meats, waffles or microwavable dinners), non-perishables (such as baking supplies, soup, noodles and canned meats), toiletries, cleaning supplies and reusable shopping bags.

She says month’s end is the time the pantry can be busier as money gets tighter for many families.

“To me, it’s just indicative of where we’re at. People in need try to hide the need oftentimes. It’s becoming so much in-our-faces,” said Peck. “We really need to have a concerted effort to help people, and not just a Band-Aid.”

In-kind donations can be dropped off at Hope Chapel anytime between 1 and 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. Monetary donations can also be dropped off at the church, or via e-transfer to [email protected].

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Jessica Owen

About the Author: Jessica Owen

Jessica Owen is an experienced journalist working for Village Media since 2018, primarily covering Collingwood and education.
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