There are so many things to write about – but today, something truly good took place. It is an all-round happy story. It all got started a few years ago…
We all know that some of our neighbours are having a tough time making ends meet. The cost of food and fuel (!!!) does not go into the official inflation calculations, yet we all know that feeding a family costs way more than it did even 6 months ago. It is therefore not surprising that many families or people on fixed incomes end up relying on visits to the local food bank… Sad, but true.
At the same time, local beef farmers were hurting. The US had closed its market to Canadian cattle, which caused the prices of beef to plumet – at least, for the farmers. Thwell, let’s just say that through a combination of many factors, the farmers were receiving record lows for their cattle, yet the prices at the stores were at an all-time high…
Now, there was a smart person (and I would tell you his name, if my ‘Google’ were functional today – rather than mangle the spelling, I’ll supply the name in an edit when I get my system up to snuff) who saw a way to make things better: both for the people who had difficulty making ends meet – and thus were not likely to be able to afford much meat in their diet – and the local farmers who were hurting because they could not get a fair price for their livestock.
FOOD AID DAY was born!
The idea is simple: people donate money, which is used to buy livestock from local farmers at a fair price. This livestock is then turned into ground beef, which the Food Bank in turn distributes to those who are in need of help.
It’s a WIN-WIN-WIN situation!
- The farmers win, because they get a fair price for their work, and do not end up at the Food Banks (or in forclosure, loosing the farm) themselves.
- The people who are down on their luck and in need of the help get much needed protein, the importance of which is obvious. (315, 000 pounds of beef so far, and counting!)
- The community wins, because not only do we have great fun during this day, we know ‘we gone done good’.
During the day, CFRA, a local radio station and great force for good in the Ottawa-area, was taking pledges on air. And while many of us city folk dug into our pockets, there were calls from farmers who were donating a cow or two… How cool! It’s not every day you hear a person say “I’ll donate a cow!”
Since its inception in 2005, the highlight of the Food Aid Day festivities is the traditional ‘Celebrity Cow-Milking Competition’. Local media people, personalities and politicians have called up their best farming skills to compete: who can get the most milk from a dairy cow in one minute!
Yes, always entertaining!
And, this year, the winner of the 10:30 Cow Milking Competition?
Mrs. Laureen Harper – the First Lady of Canada herself!
Congratulations, Mrs. Harper! Congratulations to all those who have worked hard to make today a success! Last but not least, thanks to everyone in the community who helped – by participating or donating.
When good people come together, wonderful things happen. It proves we CAN achieve things, make life better for all of us, that working together as a community really does bring people together like very few other things could!