Our community did it again! While we couldn’t be together for the 3M Harvest Lunch and United Way Campaign Launch, that didn’t stop us from serving an incredible 3,000 meals to local people living in our community.
United Way and 3M’s community-wide tradition of coming together to share a meal while launching the annual United Way fundraising campaign happened virtually again this year. Last year, because of COVID-19 safety restrictions, the lunch pivoted to a virtual ‘pay it forward’ event where every ticket purchased bought a meal for a neighbour in need in our community.
3M and our employees are committed to building strong, vibrant communities across the country. With non-profit partners such as United Way, we help people in our local communities meet basic needs such as healthy food, safe shelter, and access to critical mental health services.
President, 3M Canada
Meals were distributed during 3M Harvest Lunch week Sept. 20 – 24 through United Way’s partner agencies including Women’s Rural Resource Centre and Next Wave Youth Centre in Strathroy, YWCA St. Thomas Elgin in St. Thomas, and South London Neighbourhood Resource Centre, Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre and Horton Street Seniors Centre in London. Meal deliveries will continue for 3 weeks.
“For many people who were already experiencing poverty, hunger and mental illness before the pandemic hit, these past 18 months have widened the gap between thriving and just getting by,” says Kelly Ziegner, President & CEO, United Way Elgin Middlesex. “Others are experiencing challenges for the first time—job loss and precarious work, the deep impact of virtual learning on kids’ mental health, and the impact of many months of social isolation.”
“As we come out of this crisis, we need to make sure no one is left behind,” Ziegner continues.
The highlight of the week-long online event was a special presentation hosted by Pure Country Radio’s Dave and Rachel. They were joined by Penny Wise, President, 3M Canada, and United Way 2021 Campaign Chair, Lindsay Rice, Executive Director, YWCA Elgin-St. Thomas and Kelly Ziegner, President & CEO, United Way Elgin Middlesex as they discussed the launch of the United Way 2021 Campaign and the need in our community as we drive toward a recovery that includes everyone.
Ticket purchases from the event are also providing funding to additional programs through the United Way Community Fund at local agencies operating in our region like LUSO Community Services, Anova and Meals on Wheels in London, Inn Out of the Cold in St. Thomas and Women’s Rural Resource Centre in Strathroy. See the full list of the programs and services United Way funds.
All meals were purchased from locally owned and operated businesses and delivered safely through United Way’s partner agencies working in the community. Participating businesses include local favourites: Catering by James Meadows, Bifana Boys, Big Daddy Bacon, Big Fat Food Truck and Roy’s Family Restaurant.
There is still time to buy a ticket and pay it forward! Get yours now until October 1st!