“People who have never donated are donating now”
Pontiac July 21, 2023
Bouffe Pontiac is modernizing its approach to soliciting donations. Using the power of the internet, the regional food bank and food security service has set up a Wishlist on e-commerce giant Amazon, allowing people to donate without ever having to leave the comfort of their own home.
“It’s just something I saw. A lot of people do Amazon Wishlist for baby showers or for their weddings and stuff like that. So, I thought why not try it out here?” said Bouffe Pontiac volunteer Vanessa Lafleur.
Similar to an online gift registry one might set up for a special occasion like a wedding, Bouffe Pontiac’s Amazon Wishlist is an index of items the organization is in need of.
By following the link posted on their Facebook or by searching Bouffe Pontiac on the Amazon website, people wishing to make a donation are led to a list of food, hygiene and educational items. From here, they can see what items Bouffe Pontiac is asking for and in what quantity.
Lafleur, whose idea it was to introduce the Amazon Wishlist initiative, said that it’s a way of alleviating possible barriers to donation.
“It is hard for people to take time out of their lives to go to the grocery store, pick stuff up and drive it to us. So, this way, when they’re just online shopping on Amazon, it’s super easy for them to just add some things to the cart, and then it’s shipped directly to us and then dropped off here,” Lafleur said.
According to Lafleur, since the introduction of the Amazon Wishlist initiative, Bouffe Pontiac has received 51.4 kgs of donations.
“We have had ten donations so far from all new donors,” said Lafleur. “People who have never donated are donating now.”
The influx in donations coinciding with Amazon’s introduction of the Wishlist initiative comes at a time of increasing strain on food banks such as Bouffe Pontiac.
According to Canada’s Food Price Report 2023, there were nearly 1.5 million visits to food banks in 2022, marking an increase of 15 per cent from 2021 and 35 per cent from 2020.
The Pontiac has not been immune to this phenomenon.
“Over a six-month span we added 96 new clients to our caseload, so all donations and generosity is greatly appreciated,” Lafleur said.
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