By Emily Stonehouse
With a steadily increasing need for the Minden Community Food Centre (MCFC), organizers have decided to make a big jump to raise money…literally.
On April 6, the MCFC launched their first official social media campaign to raise funds for their ongoing programming. The “Jump in the Lake” challenge was informally kicked off by a sole local diver by the name of Amanda Federchuk several years ago.
Federchuk would raise money from her friends and family with the incentive of jumping in the lake as the ice began to thaw each spring, and she would donate the funds to the MCFC. With that original idea in mind, MCFC manager Jean Munroe thought that there would be an opportunity to jump on the unique idea. “I thought, let’s expand this idea, and turn it into something for the whole community,” she told the Times.
Munroe noted that with social media, there are opportunities to involve a new demographic, and not only expand their donor base, but also educate individuals across the region about the work that the MCFC does.
This awareness is key to expanding their reach, and helping more families, shared Munroe.
In 2022, the MCFC was providing food for an average 232 people per month. Four months into 2023, and that number has jumped to an average of 260 per month, with no signs of slowing down as the year progresses.
“We are seeing lots more families,” said Munroe, “with most of the issues stemming from food prices, cost of housing, and layoffs.” But that’s not the only demographic of MCFC users on the rise. “We are also seeing a huge increase in seniors using the services,” she said. “Many are finding it difficult to manage their budget these days.”
Munroe hopes that by launching the “Jump in the Lake” campaign, the MCFC can elevate their online presence, and add a level of “sophistication” to what they do.
Plus, at the end of the day, it’s a fun event. Munroe hopes to get as many people involved as possible, including local businesses. “I want to go down and talk to businesses and challenge them to get involved,” she said. “I think it would be fun to get a little competition, a little rivalry going, to see how much we can raise.”
The main jumping day is set for May 6, which will conclude the month-long fundraising initiative. Folks are encouraged to form a team to raise money, or they can participate solo. On the final day, all participants will dive in the recently-thawed out local lakes, and share images and videos of the big jump in an attempt to raise awareness and funds for the MCFC. The campaign has a target goal of $10,000 overall.
If folks are not interested in taking the jump, they are also welcome to donate via the MCFC website or in-person at 24 Newcastle Street in Minden. All donations will be met with an immediate charitable tax receipt. To register a team or to make an online donation, visit www.mindenfoodbank.org.