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Nearly 100 golfers hit the links to drive out hunger

Brantford Food BankNearly 100 golfers hit the links to drive out hunger

The Brantford Food Bank held its annual Drive Out Hunger charity golf tournament at the Walter Gretzky Municipal Golf Course on Friday, May 31, 2024.

Just under 100 players arrived at the course ready and eager to participate in the 18-hole scramble style golf tournament for the kick off just after noon.

Adam Cornwall makes a beautiful chip shot onto the green at the par four, 13th hole during the Brantford Food Bank’s Drive out Hunger Golf Tournament on Friday, May 31, 2024.

The annual event has been running since 2007 and has become one of the organization’s biggest fundraisers to support its vital programs and services.

“This tournament helps us raise money as people continue to access the Food Bank, especially going into the summer, donations often drop off compared to other months in the year, but hunger doesn’t take a vacation,” said Vanner. “The money raised at this tournament really helps us ensure that we have enough to be able to get us through the summer, purchase the supplies we need, and keep the programs up and running, especially for the kids. A lot of the local schools have nutrition programs, but when summer hits, the kids don’t have access to them, so this is a way for us to make sure that those children have enough as well.”

Steve Rands sinks his long birdie putt at the par four, first hole during the Brantford Food Bank’s Drive out Hunger Golf Tournament on Friday, May 31, 2024.

Vanner said that over the last year, the number of people accessing the Food Bank has nearly doubled.

“From a statistical standpoint, we are seeing numbers right now that are equaling the 2008/2009 recession. Our numbers over the last year have almost doubled in terms of the number of people that are using the food bank on a monthly basis,” she said. “Right now, we have an average of 1,200 households every month using the food bank, and that represents about 3,500 people every month. Thirty-three per cent of those people that we’re supporting are children.”

Steve Macfarlane sinks a long par-saving putt at the par five, ninth hole during the Brantford Food Bank’s Drive out Hunger Golf Tournament on Friday, May 31, 2024.

She said that with the high cost of living, it’s important to help those who are vulnerable in the community.

“With experiencing the high cost of living, everyone is feeling the pinch around food prices, and the food bank becomes even more important to make sure that those most vulnerable in our community are able to access food that they need for themselves and their families,” said Vanner. “When people are struggling financially, a lot of times groceries are actually one of the first things they try to cut back on and from a nutrition standpoint, we want to be sure that people have enough and that’s really our goal.”

Jenn McIvor takes her approach shot at the par four, 13th hole during the Brantford Food Bank’s Drive out Hunger Golf Tournament on Friday, May 31, 2024.

As golfers made their way through the course, many headed into the clubhouse to grab refreshments and lunch, while others took breaks to mingle or to take a look at the different silent auction and contest prizes before heading out to finish their game.

Vanner said she was thankful for everyone’s participation in the day. From the sponsors to the players, the volunteers and more, she said she couldn’t do it without them.

“We really appreciate all of our sponsors who stepped up and helped us make sure that today was successful,” she said. “And of course, we really appreciate all the golfers that are out today enjoying the weather and having a good time for a good cause. We wouldn’t be able to do this without everyone’s help.”

Karen Doctor, Bonnie Gray, Maria Timmons, and Donna Potoczek pose for a photo after taking their tee shots at the par four, seventh hole during the Brantford Food Bank’s Drive out Hunger Golf Tournament on Friday, May 31, 2024.

After the afternoon golf tournament, just under 110 people attended the event dinner where they announced the day’s prize winners.

Rob Montanaro and Steve Macfarlane look on as Greg O’Brien sinks his birdie putt at the par four, seventh hole during the Brantford Food Bank’s Drive out Hunger Golf Tournament on Friday, May 31, 2024.
A participant takes his shot at the par three, second hole during the Brantford Food Bank’s Drive out Hunger Golf Tournament on Friday, May 31, 2024.
Jason Holtzhauer rips his tee shot down the middle of the fairway at the par five, 15th hole during the Brantford Food Bank’s Drive out Hunger Golf Tournament on Friday, May 31, 2024.
A participant takes her tee shot at the par three, 14th hole during the Brantford Food Bank’s Drive out Hunger Golf Tournament on Friday, May 31, 2024.
Steve Rands, Jonathan Jagt, Jaime Jagt and Gord Rands pose for a photo after finishing up their first hole during the Brantford Food Bank’s Drive out Hunger Golf Tournament on Friday, May 31, 2024.
Terry Fraser rips his tee shot down the fairway at the par five, fifth hole during the Brantford Food Bank’s Drive out Hunger Golf Tournament on Friday, May 31, 2024.

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