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Walmart staff/customers step forward to fight hunger

By Randy Thoms Oct 17, 2023 | 11:15 PM

Arthur Heathcote (l), Auxiliary Captain of the Salvation Army in Fort Frances is presented with a cheque from Fort Frances Walmart store manager Paulo Santos raised during Walmart's Fight Hunger, Spark Change campaign, October 13, 2023. Image: Randy Thoms/Acadia Broadcasting

The Salvation Army in Fort Frances is receiving over $9,300 from the Walmart.

The store raised the money in March during its annual Fight Hunger, Spark Change campaign.

Auxiliary Captain Arthur Heathcote says the money will help stock its food bank, which has seen a rise in demand this year.

“These types of funds are very helpful in bringing more groceries into the food bank, particularly at this time. This past year, we’ve seen about 60 new families show up at the food bank. The majority of those people are between the ages of 45 and 64, which means that these are working people trying to make ends meet. So being able to help bridge that gap for them is really significant,” says Heathcote.

“We’ve also seen an increase in seniors coming to the food bank. So this all helps in being able to meet the needs of those who are experiencing the real pinch on their wallets these days.”

Residents were asked to donate to the cause.

All donations were matched by the company.

Fort Frances store manager Paolo Santos credits staff and customers for making the campaign a success.

“The support that comes from the community always blows my mind because we always go above and beyond what the set goal is that we try to attain and we always tend to either achieve or beat it by a huge index. So the way the community always shows up for the community, it leaves me speechless for the most part. It’s just nice to see everybody supporting such a good cause,” says Santos.

This is the seventh year for the campaign to help food banks across the country.