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Manager camps out for food bank
A local grocer is going to extreme heights to help hunger disappear.
Vernon’s Save-On-Foods manager Jim Tennant is sleeping under the stars as he camps out on top of the Village Green Centre for the second annual Rooftop Food Drive.
Last year’s inaugural event was such a success that Tennant took it upon himself to make the fundraiser an annual tradition.
“Last year we stayed up just over a week, I think eight days, and we raised an amazing amount (60,000 lbs) for the food bank and this year we’re looking to meet or beat last year’s totals,” said Tennant, who expects to be camped on the roof for at least a week.
Accounting and advisory firm BDO has jumped on board and will have staff fundraising at Save-On-Foods today. Along with bagging groceries for tips, BDO will have a by-donation barbecue from noon to 6:30 p.m.
If the staff can raise $2,000 in food and donations, BDO’s David Nardi will join Tennant on the roof tonight.
Wendy’s Akbal Mund, also Vernon’s Good Citizen, is also expected to join Tennant for a camp-out Saturday evening.
And David MacBain, Salvation Army community ministries director, is also spending a couple nights on the roof.
The drive comes at an opportune time, as the food bank shelves could use some assistance.
“We have seen 244 new households this year, to date as of the end of August,” said MacBain.
On average, the food bank serves 175 to 200 households per month plus 100 to 150 individuals visiting the food bank daily.
The number of people accessing the food bank is up 51 per cent from pre-recession times.
The need, said MacBain, “continues throughout the year, in fact sometimes it picks up in the summertimes because of additional people in the area.
“Hunger doesn’t take a holiday.”
With the anticipated success of this food drive, and thanks to recent ones (such as the Thanksgiving Food Drive which raised 10,075 lbs of food), the Salvation Army can better meet the needs of those it serves.
“Help our neighbours in need,” urges MacBain.
Some of the items currently needed at the food bank are: peanut butter, rice, mixed vegetable, stews, canned vegetables and tomato products.
Those with fresh produce can also take advantage of the gleaning program at the food bank, where volunteer pickers take one-third of the produce, the donor keeps one-third and the food bank gets one-third. Call 250-549-4111 if interested and indicate that it is towards the Rooftop Food Drive total.