WINDSOR, ON – Over the weekend, members of Local 543 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE 543) packed 600 hampers containing everything needed for a complete Thanksgiving dinner for ‘Operation Giveback’ which will see the union distribute dinners to families across Windsor.

This is the fourth year in a row that CUPE 543 has teamed up with the Windsor-Essex Food Bank Association (WEFBA) to organize ‘Operation Giveback.’

Beginning Friday, Thanksgiving hampers containing a turkey (for families) or a chicken (for single residents), reusable grocery and insulated thermos bags, along with carrots, potatoes, onions, stuffing, apples, cookies and a bag of candy for families with children, will be distributed at 10 locations throughout the City of Windsor. The main distribution point will be the Unemployed Help Centre (6955 Cantelon Drive, Windsor, ON N8T 3J9), starting at 10:00 a.m. and running until 3:30 p.m.

“Our community has faced some challenges this year, especially with the flooding that occurred in the summer, and even though we bounced back, as we always do, there are still many who could use a little extra help to have a great Thanksgiving,” said Mark Vander Voort, President of CUPE 543.

“Our members know how special Thanksgiving dinner is for many families and they believe that no one should have to forgo this opportunity to get together in celebration,” he added. “That is why we are working together with community organizations and local farmers to provide over 7.6 tonnes of food that will go towards creating a happy Thanksgiving for families who need a helping hand,” he added.

“We are so grateful for community support we’ve received for ‘Operation Giveback;’ in particular, Pier C Farms in Leamington, which donated the onions and carrots, and Kennette Orchard in Lakeshore for their generous apple donation, and Todd Stevenson and James Lea from the Real Canadian Superstore in Leamington,” said Vander Voort, “they’ve been an immense help to all of us.”

Vander Voort will be on hand at the Unemployed Help Centre on Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

CUPE 543 represents more than 1,500 dedicated public service workers in Windsor, including the City of Windsor inside workers, Windsor-Essex County Health Unit, ABC Day Nursery of Windsor, Windsor Occupational Health Information Service, Windsor-Essex Community Housing Corporation, Prism Berlie and Great Beginnings Child Centered Co-operative.


Mark Vander Voort, CUPE 543 President, 519-903-5515

Matthew Stella, CUPE Communications, 613-252-4377