Loonies for Lunches fundraiser to help Inn meet increased demand

Three young students eating lunch. (Photo by Amanda Mills from Pixnio)

The Inn of the Good Shepherd says demand for this year’s Loonies for Lunches back to school food drive is greater than usual.

Until September 13, local McDonald’s restaurants are asking for a minimum $1 donation which will go toward providing lunch items for children in need.

Inn Executive Director Myles Vanni said the fundraiser usually generates around $7,000 annually but says more families are accessing their services due to the pandemic.

He said they’re serving over 800 children every month.

“We’ve seen about a 40 per cent increase in the number of households we’re helping because of the pandemic,” said Vanni. “A lot of households were kind of getting by, but once they got laid off or lost their jobs then that put them in a dire strait. So, we’re really hoping this will give us some good support to continue helping those families until employment gets back.”

Vanni said the Loonies For Lunches program has raised over $100,000 over the past 15 years, and that speaks to the generosity of the community.

“We certainly are blessed with the support of Peter and Colleen Buckley of McDonald’s and all of the team at McDonald’s that are so enthusiastic about supporting this cause every year.”

Donations can also be made at www.theinnsarnia.ca or www.foxfm.com.

The Inn of the Good Shepherd is also distributing over 900 backpacks to children in need with help from Temple Baptist Church.

They contain things like paper, pencils, paper and calculators.