Windsor-Essex meals banks put together for elevated want with assist from $250okay donation

A Windsor-Essex philanthropist is challenging others to follow his lead and give back to the community after donating $250,000 to area food banks.

Alan Quesnel made the donation to the Unemployment Help Center’s (UHC) Hub of Opportunities on Tuesday. The money will be divided up among 15 Windsor-Essex food banks.

“I’ve been blessed in my life, and I’ve always wanted to give back,” Quesnel told CBC News on Tuesday. “I do a lot of my work overseas, but this is where I’m from.”

“My business was started in Windsor and Essex, and it enabled me to be financially successful,” he said. “It’s just part of my makeup.”

Quesnel said he didn’t want to donate to just one food bank, so he contacted June Muir, UHC Hub of Opportunities CEO, who said the money could be distributed equally among all food banks in the county.

“That’s what I chose to do this year, this Christmas season, to help those less fortunate,” he said.

Muir said she couldn’t recall another donation of this size.

This year’s hampers included a turkey, potatoes, carrots, onions, and stuffing. (Darren Di Carlo/CBC)

“One-hundred per cent of that donation is going to go into purchasing food,” she said. “It’s really important that we have this donation … to be able to prepare for January and February, and make sure everybody at Christmas time has what they need.”

The money is especially important because of the hardships many people are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Muir said.

“We know that the need is going to rise,” she said. “We know that people are not going to be able to go to work.”

“That’s when we really see the need increase,” Muir said. “When people get sick, they can’t work, they have to take care of loved ones, they can’t send their kids to school. So I don’t know what to expect in January, but we’re preparing.”

Tuesday also saw the UHC undertake the annual distribution of holiday food hampers. This year, the hampers — which include a turkey, potatoes, carrots, onions and stuffing — were provided to 250 pre-registered food bank clients.

Quesnel said he’d like to see more donations coming in, which will allow the food banks to help more people.

“I think we as a community should stick together, and if you’re blessed, to try and share the share the wealth and help those who actually aren’t so privileged,” he said. “I challenge, basically, other people that are in my position to do the same.”

“It’s a rewarding experience, and it’s much needed.”


Sounds of the Season is CBC Windsor’s annual fundraiser in support of the Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association. It’s also a chance to take a closer look at the reasons people in our city are in need, and the steps being taken to help them.

Donate to the Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association now!

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