North Okanagan residents have once again embraced a spirit of compassion and giving.
Thousands of pounds of food were collected during the 38th annual Realtors Food Drive in Greater Vernon, Armstrong and Enderby Wednesday.
“It’s beautiful, the generosity of the community,” said Dawn Taylor, event co-ordinator.
“Community support was really great. The citizens were really generous.”
At the Vernon food bank, about 32,852 pounds of food will stock shelves during Christmas and well into the new year.
“It’s absolutely humbling. The community is so gracious. It goes right back to people in the community,” said Capt. Ray Lamont, with the Salvation Army.
About 88 vehicles collected items in Greater Vernon and dropped them off at the food bank.
“It was so awesome watching all of the cars come in and the people were so happy,” said Lamont.
In Armstrong-Spallumcheen, considerable donations were gathered for the food bank operated by the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club.
“Everything went very well,” said Elizabeth Coss. “It will help get our Christmas hampers out and any leftover food will get us started for the new year.”
Residents donated 3,300 pounds of food to the Feed Enderby and District Food Bank.
“It looks very positive for the future and being able to meet the needs of the community,” said Scott Hemenway, Enderby Feed chairperson.
More than 100 Christmas hampers will be distributed in Armstrong-Spallumcheen.
“I’m amazed at how many new applicants there are approaching the food bank. I’m not sure what it says about the economy,” said Coss.
The deadline for Christmas hamper applications in Armstrong is Dec. 15.
It’s anticipated that 125 holiday hampers will be provided in Enderby.
“It’s very significant,” said Hemenway of the demand for assistance in the community.
The deadline to apply for hampers in Enderby is Dec. 11.
In Greater Vernon, 800 hampers could be distributed and people can apply at the Salvation Army’s House of Hope.
“To date, we’ve received about 50 per cent of our expected applications. We want to encourage people to apply early before the Dec. 9 cutoff this year,” said Capt. Jean-Curtis Plante.
“This year, hampers will be distributed one week earlier and many may not realize that the cutoff date is sooner than last year.”