The 2022 Hanover Ag Fair is taking place in Grunthal this weekend.  And while most of the action is on the rodeo grounds, the crowd of people at the Pancake Breakfast Friday morning and those gathered along Grunthal Main Street Saturday morning are what Rob Warkentin is most interested in.  

Warkentin is the Chairman of the Grunthal Caring Hands Food Bank and is hoping those participating in the weekend events will bring a “Tin for the Bin” or bring their spare change to help fill their shelves.  

He gives us an update on the need in their distribution area. “Like most other food banks in the communities around us, our numbers have been climbing. With the cost of living going up, our numbers are climbing as well.” 

Warkentin says, they will be at the Friday morning Pancake Breakfast at the Grunthal Lumber Grill, serving and cleaning up for your donations. He says, “if you want to bring it (tin for the bin) to that event, just tap someone on the shoulder if you have extra change in your pocket, we'll take that off your hands.”  

He says, they will also be part of the parade Saturday morning, “You'll see our faces again. We'll be walking the parade route. We'll be joining forces with Southwood Ventures, and we'll be walking behind one of their trailers collecting a “tin for the bin”. So, if you're going to the parade, bring a couple of tins of non-perishable food items.” 

He says during parades in the past they’ve had people forget to bring food items, to which Warkentin says, “We’ve got you covered. We take cash. We often walk out of there (the parade) with a pocket full of toonies and loonies, which is great. Every bit helps.”  

Grunthal Caring Hands will also be set up at the entrance of the Ag Fairgrounds during the weekend, “so, at any point, you can bring something, leave it in the bin and our volunteers will pick it up and bring it to the Food Bank. We're just so thankful for everything the community does for us.”  

Warkentin says this year they are asking people to bring “pretty much anything you got, but we always ask if you're willing to give more, like peanut butter, proteins like canned tuna, canned chicken, those sorts of things.” 

When it comes to the past two years of the pandemic and now getting ready for fall and Thanksgiving, winter and Christmas, Warkentin says, “Our shelves have been actually in decent shape throughout the pandemic. Donations always have sort of been trickling in. Interestingly, we found that we've actually received more financial donations over the pandemic time than we did actual food donations. We're in good standing with the local grocery stores and we can stretch that dollar and buy stuff. But we are definitely looking forward as we're expecting a busy fall.”  

Warkentin says they are already thinking about all those Community Christmas Hampers they are expecting this year and he is hopeful. “The FCC food drive through the local schools will be running again. We're definitely looking to build up the supply.” 

Grunthal Hanover Ag Fair Pancake Breakfast takes place Friday morning from 7am to 9am at the Grunthal Lumber Grill. You’re asked to bring a toonie or a Tin for the Bin.  

Hanover Ag Parade takes place Saturday starting at 10am along Grunthal Main Street.

Grunthal Caring Hands Food Bank Volunteers from the 2016 Hanover Ag Fair Parade Grunthal Caring Hands Food Bank Volunteers from the 2016 Hanover Ag Fair Parade (Photo credit: Facebook) 

 The Grunthal Caring Hands Food Bank opened up in February 2012 when they started serving 20 families. That has now grown to aprox. 60 families on a bi-weekly basis. They are a non-profit organization that relies on donations from the community.  

Grunthal Caring Hands Food Bank is currently located behind the Elim Church at #30 Main Street in Grunthal. Their Food Bank days are every other Wednesday from 2pm to 5pm.  

Clients are required to register the first time they attend the Food Bank. They are also asked to bring their Manitoba Health Card with them.