A record response to the Tim Hortons Food Drive means the larder is full at the St. Anthony and Area Food Sharing Association just in time for Christmas.
The community's generosity has been so great that those attending events such as Monday night's Carol Fest in St. Anthony, a concert traditionally used to top up the pantry before the festive season, have been asked not to bring food but instead to donate money.
Tim Hortons owner Leonard Tucker couldn't explain why the response had surpassed the previous four years but said the promotional bag distributed in the Northern Pen reminded people to give and give generously.
Mr. Tucker said at the start of the drive they were emptying the deposit box at the front of the store two or three times a day.
Food Sharing Association boss Bern Bromley believes the slightly improved economy over the past year could be part of the reason for the positive response.
"But this is the beauty of small towns," he said.
"People are willing to help those in need and around Christmas time people are more inclined to be more generous.
"We are very fortunate to be in this situation going to into Christmas and winter because I'd say we'll pick up a few more clients."
Mr. Bromley said between 12 and 15 families or individuals from communities from Cook's Harbour to Goose Cove used the service, but last month that number rose to about 20, due mainly to the conclusion of seasonal work and waiting for employment benefits to kick in.
He didn't expect the number of people using the service to jump dramatically over Christmas.
Not only did Tim Hortons organize the drive, they also donated a cheque for $200 to go towards purchasing perishable items that will be frozen and shared among the families in need.
They were not the only ones to make monetary donations; other groups like the family of Cleon Smith and Foodland donating sums of money to the cause.
"That's why we are asking for monetary donations now because, with money, we can buy perishable food items," Mr. Bromley said.
Mr. Bromley said money would be used to purchase items that could be frozen such as hamburger meat and sliced ham but when stocks are running low, the group can purchase other staples such as juice, bread and sugar.