Manna Fall Food Drive — October 4, 2011

Manna Fall Food Drive — October 4, 2011

IMG_3734 - Donated food is packed away in bins.
Donated food is packed away in bins.

Muskoka Oldtimers Hockey Club teams up with local school kids

Bracebridge, September 22, 2011 –  The Muskoka Oldtimers Hockey Club is gearing up for its annual Fall Food Drive for the Manna Food Bank, and the groundswell of local support has organizers feeling the love.

On the evening of Tuesday October 4, nearly 100 school kids will go door-to-door around Bracebridge collecting non-perishable food donations for the Manna Food Bank.

It’s a real community effort. “Almost all of the runners are elementary school kids from Bracebridge, mostly from grades seven and eight,” says Dave Salmon of the Muskoka Oldtimers, who have organized the food drive for more than 15 years now. Then there are about 40 volunteer drivers, most of them Oldtimers who come out every year like clockwork. And beyond that are the dozens more volunteers of all ages and stages who come out to the Bracebridge Fairgrounds to sort the food as the loaded-up cars arrive.

The non-perishable food items most needed are;

  • canned fish, fruit, juice, and meat
  • powdered milk, baby formula
  • dry or canned pasta, rice and sauce
  • crackers and cereal
  • white sugar and flour
  • peanut butter, jam, non-refrigerated margarine

To keep the runners running, donations can be pre-bagged and set by the door, or even out on the doorstep. If you get missed, there are also donation bins all year round at the Metro and Your Independent Grocer.

Last year more than 12,000 lbs of food was donated, with an additional $4,500 in cash and cheques collected.

“The Fall Food Drive is our most successful food drive activity of the year,” notes Manna president Carolyn Horne. “To the many volunteers and the people of Bracebridge, we say thank you in advance for your generosity. We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Oldtimers for spearheading this for us every year.”

The Manna Food Bank is a Bracebridge-based charity whose mission is to ensure that the immediate needs of the hungry are met. The food bank, which is located at 325 Fraserburg Rd., below the Bracebridge Lions Hall, is open Tuesdays and Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. Last year Manna supplied food to 639 families, 60% of them included children.

Manna is one of several local charities that benefit from the good work of The Muskoka Oldtimers, which held their 30th annual hockey tournament in February. “I’m quite proud of the work we do,” says Salmon. “In addition to the Manna Fall Food Drive every October, we help out at the MS Walk in April, and this year we’re also focusing on the Muskoka Children’s Foundation.”

Many of the Oldtimers are retired teachers, and Salmon notes that none of them are getting any younger. If you’re 35+, like to play hockey and are interested in helping around the community, the Oldtimers would love to hear from you.

Go to to get in touch with the Oldtimers or for more about the Fall Food Drive.


Contact: Tamsen Tillson | | My direct line: 705 640-5225.

Editors: It’s a really fun-n-frenetic community scene at the Bracebridge Fairgrounds when the food comes in (Tues Oct 4, starting at about 7 p.m.) We invite you to send a reporter out with a camera to check it out. Give Tamsen a call if you wish to discuss.