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What an amazing story told by Jim Collins! It started in a church basement in St. Thomas, serving 12 families in the area. Today Harvest Hands, with more than 100 volunteers and 23 drivers, serves a network of 200 partners, including food banks, missions, shelters and seniors’ groups.

St. Mark’s and the Church of the Ascension once again have teamed up to help share the possibilities of developing a food network or hub in the London area.

Another session of sharing our knowledge and connections was well attended on February 29 with approximately 20 guests.

We invited Jim Collins from Harvest Hands, located in St. Thomas, to speak to us about his family work to help end food insecurity. 

What an amazing story we heard about how this all started in a church basement, serving 12 families in the area. 

Fast forward to 2024, with more than 100 volunteers and 23 drivers, the charity stores, processes, packages and delivers unused food across Southwestern Ontario, from Chatham-Kent as far as Oshawa.

It serves a network of more than 200 partners, including food banks, missions, shelters and seniors’ groups.

Jim shared his story of his faith and how we all need to be sharing the Good News in everything we do.  He reminded us that God is the greatest provider and it is all our responsibility to look after the amazing surplus of food available to feed those who are in need.

If you have never been to Harvest Hands, it is worth the trip just to see the place.  It doesn’t matter the time of day we go, there are always volunteers ready to help or just to chat about your projects.  There are people unloading trucks and trailers, people packaging bulk items.  Food is being moved in and out of the fridges and freezers. 

There is a sense of peace with all those who work there and you feel the presence of something greater than yourself.  You hear stories from other clients about their projects and programs.  But the one comment you will hear over and over is just how generous the Collins family is.

Please check out their website and plan a visit

Church of Ascension and St. Mark’s are looking forward to developing more opportunities to share our ideas around food networking, food hub and the possibility of shared programs.

Helen Booth