Volunteers with the Lake Country Lions Club were handing out boxes of donated Christmas gifts to families in need Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Volunteers with the Lake Country Lions Club were handing out boxes of donated Christmas gifts to families in need Saturday, Dec. 19, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Lake Country Lions, food bank volunteers hand out Christmas toy bundles

Volunteers were busily sending out Christmas toy bundles at the Winfield Memorial Hall Saturday

Volunteers were at the Winfield Memorial Hall on Saturday handing out Christmas bundles for those in need.

There were more toy donations than could be fit into the Lake Country Food Bank this year, and with the local seniors centre closed for renovations the Lake Country Lions Club stepped in to help with the 2020 toy donation push.

“Our numbers are way up this year for the food bank, and our children’s list is up this year,” said Kim Sylvestre, Lions Club president and volunteer with the food bank.

More than 60 families signed up for assistance with children’s toys this year, and the food bank has also seen a 50 per cent increase in demand — this while the COVID-19 pandemic has made running food drives a logistical challenge.

“We haven’t been able to really do events, it’s all been kind of unofficial low-key things. You have to make sure you follow all the protocols,” said Stewart Geis, a volunteer driver with the food bank.

Two of the food bank’s biggest annual campaigns —The RCMP Cram the Cruiser and the fire department’s Fill the Boot — were cancelled or reduced this year.

“Usually I believe we get eight apple bins full of food from (the Fill the Boot campaign), and this year it didn’t happen,” Geis said.

Toys donated by the community were stored in the basement of the Memorial Hall. Clients with the food bank were able to send in a Christmas wish list to the volunteer Lions, who then combed through the items and put together boxes of gifts ready for pickup. Presents were left unwrapped, so parents could see what their kids would be getting on Christmas Day.

“It’s been a fun time,” Sylvestre said.

Donations are always appreciated, and with the snow on its way any day now, she says coats, boots and other warm items are at a premium.

READ MORE: The society is also mourning the passing of founding member, Judy Mallett

READ MORE: COVID-19 cancels Armstrong firefighter’s traditional Santa Run

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

ChristmasFood Bank

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Vernon is still taking applications for council discretionary grants until April 30. (File photo)
Funding available to Vernon non-profits, societies

Grants awarded to organizations that ‘contribute to the general interest and advantage of the city;’ deadline is April 30

A sani-dump station is coming to the frontage road off Okanagan Landing Road. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
New Vernon sani-dump station raises a stink among neighbours

Temporary relocation to Okanagan Landing with future plan at former Kin racetrack

The Wild Oak Cafe in Armstrong is one of the available squares in the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce's Bingo game to support local businesses. (Facebook)
Bingo boosts Armstrong eateries

Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber launches #BoostOurBiz featuring bingo card which would win you prizes

Vernon Fire Rescue Services will conduct a controlled burn in the Foothills area Friday, April 16. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Controlled Foothills burn cancelled

Vernon Fire Rescue Services had planned for a controlled burn in Foothills on Friday, April 16

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP are looking for the rightful owners of two standup paddleboards seized in an investigation March 19, 2021. (RCMP)
Is this your SUP?: Vernon police

Two standup paddleboards seized by police to be returned

Arlene Howe holds up a picture of her son, Steven, at a memorial event for drug overdose victims and their families at Kelowna’s Rotary Beach Park on April 14. Steven died of an overdose at the age of 32 on Jan. 31, 2015. (Aaron Hemens - Kelowna Capital News)
Moms Stop the Harm members placed crosses Wednesday morning, April 14, on Rotary Beach in memory of children lost to drug overdoses. (Aaron Hemens - Capital News)
Kelowna mothers remember children lost to the opioid crisis

It has been five years since illicit drug deaths was announced a public health emergency

A screenshot from a Nuu-chah-nulth healing song and performance created in collaboration between Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso. (Screenshot from YouTube)
WATCH: Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation brothers produce COVID-19 healing song

Hjalmer Wenstob and Timmy Masso share dance and inspiration.

Health Canada headquarters in Ottawa. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)
Health Canada releases guidelines for reducing COVID-19 transmission at home

Improve indoor air quality by opening up your windows and doors, among the encouraged ventilation measures

Hikers are still able to climb to the top of Giant’s Head Mountain in Summerland, but the paved road to the upper parking lot will be closed from 7 a.m. to noon and all day on Sundays. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland park partially closed to vehicle traffic

Giant’s Head Mountain Park gates will be closed to cars until noon

Flow Academy is not accepting membership applications from anybody who has received a dose of the vaccine, according to a password-protected membership application form. (Submitted image)
B.C. martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

Interior Health has already issued a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with public health orders

Young cyclists from Quebec have not been riding single file on Naramata’s narrow and windy roads, causing the ire of locals worried for their safety and theirs. (Dan Moskaluk)
Quebec cyclists bad road behaviour causing stir in Penticton

The young cycling group illegally riding two-abreast on Naramata’s narrow roads

MP Todd Doherty took to Facebook after his family recently received threats. (Todd Doherty, MP Facebook photo)
‘I don’t run and I don’t hide’: Cariboo MP says RCMP probing threats made against family

Todd Doherty has also notified House of Commons Protective Services

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

The music video for “Green and Blue” featured a Willington Care Centre in Burnaby as well as some of the volunteers and employees. (Screenshot/Todd Richard)
‘Green and Blue’: B.C. country musician releases tribute song for front-line workers

Richard’s new single has been viewed more than 3,000 times on his YouTube channel

Most Read