By Jim Newell
ORION TWP. — In a time when there are more and more people who need a little extra help to get by every week, Orion Neighborhood Television is once again finding a way to assist their Orion neighbors.
It’s ONTV’s 13th consecutive year of stepping up to the plate, and they are hoping to help fill dinner plates during the annual Food Drive to benefit the Oxford/Orion FISH Food Pantry.
The virtual food/fund drive begins at 10 a.m. on Feb. 6 and will run through 9 p.m. Feb. 10. The drive will air for five full days and nights with live studio elements each day from noon-2 p.m. and every evening from 7-9 p.m.
“This is our third year going with a virtual drive,” says Ian Locke, executive director. “The new format seems to be working out well. This year Oxford Community Television will be teaming up with us to raise funds. We’re hoping that by working together we can reach more viewers and bring more awareness to FISH.”
Members of the community can view the food drive on Comcast Ch. 10, AT&T U-Verse Ch. 99, ROKU Cablecast Ch., Amazon Fire TV, ONTV Facebook Page and at OrionONTV.org.
ONTV food drives have collected 45,000 pounds of food during their live telethons over the past 12 years. Last year the drive raised over $7,000 for the FISH food pantry.
This year, ONTV’s goal is to raise $5,000 for FISH through corporate sponsorships and community donations. They are also asking for the community’s help to fill the ONTV van with non-perishable food and personal items.
The ONTV production van will be parked at their studio, located at the Orion Center, 1349 Joslyn Rd., for in-person donations from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Feb. 6 -10.
Monetary donations can be made through the GoFundMe account located on the ONTV website at orionONTV.org.
Oxford/Orion FISH provides emergency aid in the form of food and agency referrals to individuals in Oxford, Lake Orion, Addison and Oakland Township. Those in need of help and/or groceries can call the FISH office at 248-628-3933. To donate to Oxford/Orion FISH, visit oxfordorionfish.org for drop off times, online donations and information.
The 12th annual ONTV Food Drive last year raised about $7,100 for the Oxford/Orion FISH Food Pantry, said Locke. The goal at the start of the food drive had been to raise $5,000.
And it did not surprise Locke that the Orion community did what it usually does and helped make ONTV’s 2022 Food Drive a success, even in the midst of an ongoing pandemic.
“It went really, really well,” Locke said. “Our sponsors, we can’t thank them enough. We had 16 corporate sponsors, which is the most we’ve ever had. The giving from those sponsors was in amounts higher than we’ve ever had. Especially Canterbury Village, which came through with the single largest donation we’ve ever had of $1,000.”
Review writer Megan Kelley contributed to this report.
By Jim Newell