A Labour Day weekend event that couldn’t be held as usual ended up raising over $11,000 for food banks in the area.

The North Bay and District Labour Council’s annual lakeshore picnic couldn’t be held because of the pandemic, so the council elected to run a fundraising campaign that also sought to educate.

The Labour Council held a lawn sign campaign that aimed to spread awareness of the importance of food banks. One dollar from every sign sold was donated to North Bay area food banks, which was then matched by the Labour Council.

The council was able to raise $11,425 for the food banks.

Lindsey Voisin, Communications Officer for the Labour Council, says she’s not completely surprised with the community support.

“We weren’t sure what to expect but we have a big turnout at our picnic every year so I think folks are used to seeing the Labour Council being active at this time,” she noted.

Voisin says that the campaign’s goal was equally split between raising money for food banks and spreading awareness that they are in need of support.

“I feel happy with the amount that we were able to raise in such a short period of time. But in terms of the plan to make sure no folks are left behind, we’re just in the beginning of that,” she said.

Jared Hunt, Vice President of the Labour Council, agrees that the awareness campaign is just beginning.

“Although I’m thrilled with how the Labour community came together, we haven’t lost focus on the idea that we need all levels of government to improve our social safety net so we can make sure Food Banks are not stretched thin by increased need. People are being left behind and we can’t stop demanding better,” he said in a release.

Voisin says that she and the Labour Council that people reach out to their MPs and MPPs about securing government funding to keep area food banks open throughout the pandemic