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Kitchener’s decades-old Pudding Factory falls victim to COVID-19

For the first time in 72 years, there will be no St. John’s Pudding Factory this November, organizers say. 

The Church of St. John the Evangelist’s annual fundraiser has been cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

Judy Shantz — a member of the Anglican Church Women (ACW) and Pudding Factory co-convener — said the pudding factory is a wonderful fundraiser for the church, and it’s also a wonderful time for people to get to know other people.

She said the cancellation has left a lot of people disappointed.

“It has been the first week in November for as long as I can remember. It’s a kind of kick-off to ‘it’s Christmas,'” Shantz told CBC News.

“We have corporate people as well so we sell to golf courses, a couple of restaurants and some retirement and nursing homes. So about 800 pounds of pudding are corporate orders.”

The Church of St. John the Evangelist’s annual fundraiser has been cancelled this year due to the pandemic. (The Church of St. John the Evangelist/Facebook)

Several weeks ago the ACW advised people about the cancellation this year.

Shantz said the response from one customer was, “What am I going to do about Christmas puddings this year then?”

But Shantz said with the worsening effects of COVID-19, they felt that cancelling the event this year was the responsible thing to do.

The Pudding Factory, staffed by members of St. John’s Anglican Church Women and friends of the church, normally produces approximately 2,000 pounds of Christmas puddings during the first week of November. 

Proceeds from pudding sales support church outreach programs as well as local charities, which in the past have included the Food Bank of Waterloo Region and the Canadian Mental Health Association, among others.  

“Sadly, this will have a huge impact on our ability to provide funds for outreach to our community and our parish,” Shantz said.

Pudding Factory plans to return next year

Shantz said they hope to bring back the Pudding Factory in 2021.

“We definitely plan on doing it again.… Please keep us in mind for next year, we certainly intend to get back again, hopefully the world will return to normal.

“We would like to thank the community for all its support and we hope to be able to offer our puddings again next year,” Shantz added. 

In a bid to raise some much-needed funds, the ACW will be doing “a kind of non-pudding Pudding Factory” at the church for people who would like to make a donation. A receipt will be issued for all donations over $20, Shantz said.

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