Many local residents may have noticed a little bag with a note hung on their door this week as volunteers are going door-to-door Saturday to collect donations for the Salvation Army food bank.
It’s hoped residents will stock the reminder bags and leave them at their front door for pick up Saturday for Vernon’s third annual B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive.
Volunteers will be busy delivering the donations to the food bank between 9:30 and 11: 30 a.m. in an effort to stock the depleting shelves.
This time of year is a struggle as shelves at the Salvation Army Food Bank are typically quite bare.
“It feels good to help serve the community and those less fortunate than us,” said Bob McKay, local organizer of the event, put on by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “The kids, anywhere from nine years and up, they love delivering the bags and then on Saturday going around and seeing what people have donated.”
Volunteers from the church, as well as Vernon, Kalamalka and Silver Star Rotary and ValleyFirst Credit Union, are taking part in the initiative.
Just what to donate is something some may struggle with but the Salvation Army has a few tips.
“With school starting up we design kids packs so healthy snack items, healthy juice boxes, granola bars,” said David MacBain, Salvation Army community ministries director.
Also needed are items such as mixed vegetables, tomato products, stews, canned pasta and peanut butter.
Donors are asked to steer clear of soups (which the food bank has an abundance of), home preserves (for health and safety reasons), as well as outdated items or that random package that’s been sitting in the back of their cupboard.
“We want to treat those that we serve with dignity and respect and that includes providing, good, healthy products,” said MacBain.
There are also some special dietary needs that many of those accessing the food bank cannot afford on their own: such as Boost, Ensure and Pedialyte.
“For those wanting to help families we also have a moms and tots program,” said MacBain. “We provide milk, eggs and cheese and anything we have (on shelf from donors) from soothers to formula.”
While some of the clients served need to access the food bank on a regular basis, MacBain notes that many are in a spot where they just need to use the service for a short time until they can back on their feet.
But no matter who is in need: “Those who are receiving are very grateful.”
Anyone who does not receive a bag can drop off their donations to the Salvation Army Food Bank (3303 32nd Ave. behind Staples).
You can also learn about upcoming drives and items needed by ‘liking’ The Salvation Army – Vernon and Enderby page.