Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to acknowledge a wonderful initiative in my riding. Operation Sharing, an ecumenical ministry with widespread support started the Food for Friends program last fall.
Four major grocery stores in Woodstock encourage customers to donate 25¢ or more when they check out. The money is then put on food cards for those in the community who need assistance. This allows them to make choices that meet their dietary needs and more important, maintains their dignity.
The program is the brainchild of Chaplain Stephen Giuliano who serves as the program coordinator. Stephen is a wonderful advocate who builds confidence and brings hope to those who need a helping hand.
Oxford's residents have responded with great generosity. The program raised over $30,000 in its first three months.
Thanks go to IGA, Food Basics, Zehrs and Sobey's for facilitating the program, along with Stephen Giuliano and Operation Sharing.
I congratulate the residents of Oxford for demonstrating their generous spirit once again.