LOCKPORT — Through a care package donation program, Niagara Produce and the local community provided food to families during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jodi Chesko, the owner of Niagara Produce, said customers approached the business about helping needy families when the pandemic first started.
Chesko's friend works at the North Park Guidance department and has a list of families she knew that were reporting a tough time between the Christmas break and the return to school at the new year.
She came up with the idea of $30 care packages. The care package included deli meats, fresh produce, milk, bread, eggs, Pizza Logs and chicken fingers.
"We wanted them to have something that they really like," Chesko said of the variety offered.
The program was very well received and it has raised $3,000 so far and resulted in 100 boxes being given out.
"It just kind of snowballed from there. We would have customers that would come in and buy groceries, and then want to spend an extra $30," Chesko said.
For 10 straight Saturdays, the families would come in to pick up the care packages.
"The families would just come in and we'd go in the back and get them their care package and they were so appreciative. Like the look on their faces it was so amazing," Chesko said.
She plans to continue doing the donation program through July.
Chesko supported the "generous support" of Niagara Produce shoppers and some of the bigger donors like Evans Bank, The Penalty Box, Memorable Getaways and Gould's Flowers.