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Gathering Place gets chilling support from Ferris Lion's Club

'We supported The Gathering Place because they were in very great need to have space to put their food'

A big donation of $11,000 is going to go a long way to support The Gathering Place in North Bay and allow it to expand the outreach program. 

On Monday morning the Ferris Lion's Club announced a donation of $11,000 that has allowed The Gathering Place to purchase new freezers, as well as buy a stainless steel preparation table to support the day-to-day operation of the Gathering Place and its Outreach Team. 

Claude Beaulne, Ferris Lion's Club president, believes the donation made sense.  

"We supported The Gathering Place because they were in very great need to have space to put their food," he said. 

Beaulne has a connection to The Gathering Place. He has a man stop by his business twice a week and he hauls food there. 

"I know him personally, and being able to help this place to be able to have the space to put the food helps him and everybody in here so that is why we do it. We like helping charities that need help, and as we know, The Gathering Place needs a lot of help."

On top of that, a donation from the provincial government's Trillium Fund has allowed the Outreach Team to purchase reusable "to-go" containers to provide "pop-up" meals in West Ferris during the summer months.   

Dennis Chippa, executive director of The Gathering Place, was thrilled to put this generous donation in motion. 

"We are hoping to have several hundred meals available," said Chippa about serving to the West Ferris area which they started to do during the pandemic.   

"At the same time, in order to have those kinds of meals prepped, we needed the containers. We also needed freezer and fridge space. And we had to have some proper tables to prep it and that's where the Lions Club came in. We think it's a great partnership because Ferris is helping Ferris and I think that's amazing." 

Chippa says the Outreach Program will begin operating bi-weekly from a location yet to be determined where outreach staff can provide frozen meals and pantry items to West Ferris residents. 

Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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