Got it in the bag? Y's Men's annual food drive on

The Charlottetown Y's Men's Club is hoping P.E.I.'s ban on single-use plastic bags won't slow down collections for its annual food drive Monday night.

'We hope it won't have, certainly, too great of an impact with the lack of bags'

Bill Irwin, left, is chair of the Charlottetown Y's Men's club. The club is holding its 33rd food drive this year to help support the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry. Food bank manager Mike MacDonald, left, says this drive is the biggest of the year. (Laura Chapin/CBC)

The Charlottetown Y's Men's Club is hoping P.E.I.'s ban on single-use plastic bags won't slow down collections for its annual food drive Monday night.

That is why along with food, officials with the organization are also asking people consider donating reusable bags.

"We hope it won't have, certainly, too great of an impact with the lack of bags," said Mike MacDonald, manager of the Upper Room Hospitality Ministry.

For the last 33 years, volunteers have taken part in the campaign that collects non-perishable food around Charlottetown and Cornwall.

There isn't much time for volunteers to socialize, said MacDonald. Collections will move along more quickly if people have what they plan to donate already bagged before volunteers start going door to door, MacDonald said.

He said people can leave their donations in bags, but there are also volunteers who will have both reusable bags and plastic bags which were donated to the organization prior to the ban, MacDonald said.

"This will kind of be our last hurrah with plastic bags," he said.

Any reusable bag donated will be given to clients along with food.

"They stay within the system," MacDonald said.

Event continues to grow

Bill Irwin, chair of the Charlottetown Y's Men's Club, has been part of the drive since Day 1 and the drive is only getting bigger.

"The number of homes we canvas at has increased. Back 33 years ago we only had Charlottetown," Irwin said.

There will be about 500 volunteers heading out Monday evening at 6 p.m., Irwin said.

The drive brings in a lot of food, but it also draws attention to the food bank,  MacDonald said.

"It's easily our biggest food drive and honestly it's twice the size of our next biggest food drive and every year takes in between 35 and 40 pallets of food," MacDonald said.

He said donations this time of year are really important for the soup kitchen and food bank. 

"It's by far the most important food drive for us. And it enables us to, you know, really to continue the work we do," he said.

MacDonald said the drive won't  be accepting perishable items Monday night, but people are welcome to drop those by the food bank tomorrow. He also encourages people to consider donating toiletries during the Y's Men's Drive.

More P.E.I. news

With files from Island Morning


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