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'This means everything': Company pays for families' groceries

In a trickle-down effect of kindness, one recipient used part of her haul to help out a neighbour
Cynthia Denault shares her happiness with Karen and Peter Exel after uRide picked up the tab for her grocery bill today.

There were tears, laughs and new friendships formed in the grocery aisles today. 

Ahead of St. Patrick's day, Uride spread kindness in the community, picking up the grocery tab for four local families. 

The gesture meant a lot to the recipients with the cost of living — especially groceries — rising steadily. 

Cynthia Denault was in tears going through the checkout. 

This summer it will be two years since her mom died. Feeling safe in her mom's house, she's trying to keep it and having someone reach out to offer to pay for this week's groceries means everything to her. 

"It means community, it feels like someone’s looking out for you. I have no more family, I’m the only one standing, so this means everything — this has been, it’s so heartwarming to know there’s still good people out there,” said Denault fighting back tears.

Terri Ross and her daughters were filling a cart as part of the initiative. 

“This means a lot for us. We recently had to move, it wasn’t a choice of ours and we wanted to stay in Schumacher. You know when you move, things get very tight very quickly so this means the world to us right now,” she said.

Uride's small act of kindness is already having a trickle-down effect. 

Sarah Boucher is a single mom of three and is in school studying to be mental health and addictions social worker. While two of her children are adults, her youngest is still at home and has autism and Tourette's syndrome.  

Even though things are tight in her own household, she used part of her order to help a neighbour.

“She’s just as hard up as I am over there so I asked her for a couple of things that they need as well, so I’m going to share it. Everybody needs it … it’s hard,” she said.

Uride is doing similar events in 14 other communities where the ride-share company operates. In Timmins, local driver Peter Exel and his wife Karen helped pull off the initiative.

“Two of the ladies broke down into tears because they couldn’t believe this is happening. So it’s been overwhelming and just the human stories behind the need, it’s a wonderful thing that Uride is doing,” said Karen.

They contacted the City of Timmins to connect with people deserving of the groceries. 

At 9 a.m. this morning (March 16), Peter was one of the people picking up the families at home, bringing them to Food Basics and driving them back home after paying for the grocery hauls.

“People are elated, they’re very, very happy. It’s a very good time, lots of smiles,” he said. 

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Maija Hoggett

About the Author: Maija Hoggett

Maija Hoggett is an experienced journalist who covers Timmins and area
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