A local priest has put out a call for practical donations to give to migrant workers hit by the COVID-19 outbreak at a farm in Norfolk County.

On Friday night, Father Peter Ciallella of Blessed Sacrament Church in Burford and some helpers were putting together 220 bags of the donations.

Items like toothbrushes, deodorant, shaving cream, packaged snacks, and cloth masks with Spanish instructions were sent in from across Southern Ontario.

The donations will be going to migrant workers quarantined because of a COVID-19 outbreak at a Scotlynn Group farm in Vittoria.

“I want the message to be that there are people in this community that love them and that care for them,” said Ciallella.

He says he was sad to see residents and politicians reacting so negatively and speaking out against the workers quarantined in Brantford area hotels.

“I know in this community there’s a lot of generosity,” said Ciallella. “I didn’t expect this response, but I knew people would rise to the challenge.

“There’s way more donations than we need, and that’s okay.”

Extra items will go to other farm workers, with the plan to now make this a long term project.

Greeting cards made by children in the parish are also going into the bags.

The message inside them reads, in Spanish: “thank you for what you do, for helping us bring food to our table, for helping us that we can grow, we wish you the best in your recovery, God bless you and Happy Fathers’ Day.”

After the bags are packed, they will be set aside and delivered to the workers after they finished their quarantine.

According to Haldimand Norfolk Health Unit, 169 workers have tested positive for COVID-19.