One-man food drive to continue in Montague area

Robert Benoit of Montague, P.E.I., said he was quitting — but he just couldn't. He announced he will once again be collecting food for the local food bank, Oct. 26 and 27.

Robert Benoit just couldn't give up his annual campaign to fill the shelves

Robert Benoit plans to once again collect food donations for an organization that once helped him. (CBC)

Robert Benoit of Montague, P.E.I., said he was quitting — but he just couldn't. 

He announced he will once again be collecting food for the local food bank, Oct. 26 and 27. 

"You kind of get it in your blood I guess," Benoit told Mainstreet P.E.I.'s Angela Walker. "You always see it in the media  where the shelves are getting low and I get thinking about families that have little ones and struggling to make ends meet and you're thinking, those little kids are kind of getting hungry. And that's my push to get it going again."

Knows what it's like to be hungry

Benoit knows what he's talking about — he and his family struggled one year after his wife had open-heart surgery and neither of them was working. The co-ordinator of the local food bank heard about it, and invited Benoit to use the food bank. 

From that day, Benoit was determined to return the favour — and he's done so many times over, heading up a one-man food drive for the Southern Kings and Queens Food Bank in Montague every year. 

Last fall, however, Benoit said he was passing the torch to someone else to do the collecting. But when no one stepped forward to take over, he got his second wind and decided to carry on, setting new goals for himself. 

Over the nine years he's been collecting, Benoit figures he has collected about 15,000 kilograms, or 32,000 pounds of food. His goal is to collect about 23,000 kilograms, or 50,000 pounds of food by next year. 

'Somebody's got to do it'

He works at Stewart and Beck Home Hardware in Montague, which is generously letting him borrow a truck for his pickups. 

"If we're able to do something, someday we may need it," Benoit said. "Somebody's got to do it I think."

He also collects monetary donations, and he's hoping to make his goal of collecting $100,000, giving to the Children's Wish Foundation and Easter Seals Society.

He'll be picking up from businesses, schools and churches in the Montague area Oct. 26 and 27. To donate to Benoit's campaign, contact him though Facebook or drop off donations at Home Hardware's two locations in Montague or at the Montague Wellness Centre. 

More P.E.I. news

With files from Angela Walker 


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