Community

Pennies critical food bank donation

Beverley Elder, administrator for the Sidney Lions Food Bank shows off thousands of pennies donated to the food bank. She is concerned that the loss of the penny may have an effect on the amount of donations to the food bank.  - Arnold Lim/News staff
Beverley Elder, administrator for the Sidney Lions Food Bank shows off thousands of pennies donated to the food bank. She is concerned that the loss of the penny may have an effect on the amount of donations to the food bank.
— image credit: Arnold Lim/News staff

The penny pinch  is a concern for the Sidney Lions Food Bank. Next fall, Canada joins the U.K. and Australia in dropping the coin from production.

“Pennies turn into food for us,” said Bev Elder, administrator for the Sidney Lions Food Bank. “What’s hanging around in people’s houses can really, really help us. It’s a waste of space for some people, but it’s a perfect donation for us.”

She figures a couple thousand rolls of pennies pass through her fingertips, and those of the volunteers who help roll, in a year.

Pesos, pence and pebbles are not uncommon among the pennies.

“We have had a buffalo head nickel once that was worth $5,” Elder said. But weeding through the barrels of coins is worth the effort. Last week she rolled $25 worth donated in two big mason jars. The last few weeks one woman returned repeatedly while cleaning out her late dad’s home – dropping off tub after tub of pennies she discovered.

“It is a constant donation, where we get a margarine tub or coffee can full,” Elder said. “Pennies are our biggest loose donation … and we can double that [with purchasing power].”

Elder hopes people will consider donating them to the food bank one last time.

“We rely on pennies,” she said, fearing what may happen after the fall, when the penny heads out of production as announced in the federal budget last month.

 

Donations can be made at 9586 Fifth St. or online at www.sidneyfoodbank.com.

 

 

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