Workers locked out by Nipissing and Parry Sound Children’s Aid Society (CAS) gave a resounding vote of thanks to their community yesterday, as they held a “fruitful” food drive for Parry Sound Harvest Share food bank.

As part of their “Pay It Forward” campaign, workers collected food items from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the corner of Church and Mary Streets in Parry Sound on Tuesday.

With support from members across the community, including the CAS liaison officer from the Ontario Provincial Police, workers represented by Local 2049 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) collected enough food items to fill a pick-up truck and the back of an SUV. They delivered the bounty to Parry Sound Harvest Share at the end of the day.

The drive was held in recognition of the generous community support that CUPE members have experienced in Parry Sound since the lockout began on December 23. Donations to the Parry Sound Harvest Share were generously supported by teachers’ unions in the north, including the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario, the Ontario Elementary Catholic Teachers Association and the Near North Occasional Teachers’ Local.

CUPE members in North Bay also concluded a week-long food drive yesterday with donations of food items and cash to the North Bay Food Bank.

“As CUPE members, we know how lucky and privileged we are to have the support of our communities, whether it’s during this lockout and when we’re on the job,” said Debbie Hill, president of CUPE 2049.

“It’s an honour to be able to show our appreciation by “paying it forward” in Parry Sound.”