WINCHESTER — After 25 years of dedicated community service, Judy Hilson, former Client Coordinator for Community Food Share, is saying goodbye.
It was a “ministry for me. It was an absolute pleasure to help my community and those in need,” says Hilson. “I have enjoyed working there. It felt great doing it. But now I am getting older and my husband and I want to travel and be with our family more.” She also plans to spend more time volunteering for her church. She is the organist at her church, and she also enjoys working with the children of the congregation.
What started out as an idea in a church basement by a few community ministers, the food bank operation turned into a very successful and needed service for many less fortunate in the area.
According to Hilson, the majority of users are singles and the elderly. This can be mostly attributed to the rising costs of food, hydro, and financial struggles of all sorts. “People try and get ahead but can’t do that without the help of the food bank,” says Hilson.
As it expanded southward, the original North Dundas Food Bank became known as the Dundas County Food Bank. More recently, the organization has changed names again to reflect a wider coverage area. Community Food Share now reaches well into North Stormont with satellite operations in Finch and, most recently, Crysler. Usage fluctuates every year, according to Hilson, whose successor will have to deal with overall growth in demand.
Hilson says she has thoroughly enjoyed the contact with users of the food bank and has made friends with many of them. Even though things are coming to an end as a coordinator for the food bank after 25 years, she will “continue to support the food bank in any ways I can.” Now is the “time for my husband and I to do other things,” she reiterates.