Jason Kimpinski helps deliver trees to the food bank Tuesday from Rona

Jason Kimpinski helps deliver trees to the food bank Tuesday from Rona

Rona builds community support

Rona Vernon donates trees, food and cash to Salvation Army Food Bank to help make Christmas a little merrier for less fortunate

Christmas has come with all the trimmings for some of Vernon’s less fortunate.

Those picking up Christmas hampers at the Salvation Army food bank last week were also treated to a Christmas tree.

As part of its first annual food bank drive, Rona  donated and delivered 40 trees to the food bank, along with 420 pounds of food.

The food, packed into approximately 50 re-usable bags, was collected from customer donations and in co-operation with Save-On Foods (who donated the food and bags).

To top it off, a cheque totalling $3,916 was presented to the food bank.

Funds were raised through a buy-a-bag of food fundraiser, as well as a silent auction and popcorn sales at the store.

“A big thank you to Vernon and the community,” said Rob Frank, local Rona store manager.

The success has prompted Frank to make this an annual event, and not just locally.

“We’re really going to build it up for next year again and we’re going to challenge other Ronas to help their respective food banks,” said Frank.

Such community support is encouraging at a time when demand is at record levels at the food bank.

The food bank serves approximately 1,100 clients annually.

Anyone wanting to help out is encouraged to donate at Christmas kettles around town or online at www.vernonbcfoodbank.com.

“We’re still sitting at just over $90,000 and we have a target of $125,000,” said David MacBain, Salvation Army community ministries director.

Although Christmas is nearly here, it’s not too late to help out.

“That (donations) will help us into the new year,” said MacBain, adding that kettles will be ringing right until Christmas Eve.