Food bank advocate recalled

Phyllis MacPherson has provided a lifetime of service to Lake Country as its long-time food bank manager

  • Dec. 23, 2015 10:00 a.m.
Phyllis MacPherson

Phyllis MacPherson

Just days before she was going to be presented with the new Lake Country Food Bank building as a surprise Christmas gift, food bank manager and co-founder Phyllis MacPherson died Saturday.

MacPherson has provided a lifetime of service to the community as its long-time food bank manager and the driving spirit behind the food bank’s operations.

“She never called it the food bank, she called it her home,” recalled Joy Haxton, vice-president of the Lake Country Food Assistance Society.

“When you talked to Phyllis and she said, ‘I’ll meet you at the house’ she never meant her residence. You knew exactly where to meet her.”

Home for MacPherson was the Lake Country Food Bank, whether in its original location near Lake Country municipal hall or one of its other postings up to its current location in the old Winfield Elementary School.

She started the venture with a handful of others and for more than 30 years dedicated herself to helping those that needed food, helping up to 600 families in a month.

She was honoured many times over for her activities.

“She’s probably one of the most decorated women in Canada,” said Haxton of the many awards and honours bestowed upon MacPherson.

“It was a long list but for Phyllis it was about her people, the people she helped. She had incredible faith. She always said it was God’s will for her to feed people. That was her job.”

The news of MacPherson’s death sent a wave of sadness throughout the community.

As the Lake Country Rotary Club made plans to present the nearly-completed food bank building to the society on Dec. 23, news of MacPherson’s death prompted them to delay any presentation until the new year.

“We are all shocked by the loss of Phyllis – it is a huge blow to all of us,” said Bob Rymarchuk, of Rotary.

“We had been expecting her to wind down her involvement with the food bank day-to-day operations due to her health but her passing comes as a shock to us all.”

At the Lake Country Food Bank on Monday morning, volunteers went about their business with a heavy heart.

But the food bank operations were continuing as per normal.

“Everybody is in mourning but everyone is looking at it like this is what Phyllis wanted us to do,” said society board member Jim Haxton.

“There is a core group of volunteers and she prepared them all to be able to run it themselves. Everyone is trained to continue the wonderful work Phyllis did. We know what to do and we’re going to continue the work for Phyllis. I think a little bit of her will be with all of us, to carry on the work. Her belief was that no one should go hungry.”

 

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

Just Posted

Student binders await pick up in front of South Canoe Elementary school on Monday morning, Jan. 18, 2020. It was announced on Friday, Jan. 16, that the school would closed for up to two weeks after cases of COVID-19 had been confirmed among members of the school community. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Greater effort encouraged to help curb COVID-19 at North Okangan-Shuswap schools

North Okanagan Shuswap Teachers Association president says teachers reeling from recent exposures

Seven Black Locust trees at Okanagan Centre Park and Museum will need to be removed after sustaining damage in the Jan. 13, 2021, windstorm. (District of Lake Country - Facebook)
Wind-damaged trees to come down in Lake Country park

District to make future improvements to picnic area, plant new trees

Kyla Inaba of Vernon’s Predator Ridge Resort has been named to the inaugural roster of the PGA of BC and PGA of Canada’s 2021 Women in Coaching program. (PGA of Canada photo)
Vernon pro to join elite women’s golf coaching program

Kyla Inaba of Predator Ridge was selected for the PGA of Canada’s inaugural Women in Coaching program

A windstorm Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021, hit Lake Country hard closing Hare Road while crews respond to a broken water main. (District of Lake Country - Facebook)
TAYLOR: Discovering the essentials of life

Calendar columnist Jim Taylor reflects on last week’s windstorm

A Vernon man's faith in humanity has been restored since his lost wallet was returned, credit cards, cash and all, to the RCMP station. (Contributed)
Good Samaritan turns in cash-filled wallet to Vernon Mounties

Owner’s faith in humanity restored following a tough few weeks

The BC SPCA is adapting its fundraising after cancelling events due to COVID-19 restrictions. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
BC SPCA gets creative with fundraising as pandemic continues

The non-profit’s in-person fundraising events all had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions

Police and GSAR recommend that people using the backcountry carry a GPS device in case of emergencies.
Snowmobiler found safe after Princeton GSAR takes a midnight ride

He was expected home for dinner at 5:30 p.m and his wife reported he was overdue at approximately 10 p.m.

A man wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency department of the Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver Wednesday, November 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Central Okanagan weekly COVID-19 numbers increase slightly

Region recorded 139 cases of COVID-19 Jan. 10–16, more than the 110 identified the previous week

With the BCHL season stalled, South Surrey’s John Evans has left the West Kelowna Warriors and joined the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints. (Photo courtesy of Dubuque Fighting Saints)
With the season stalled West Kelowna Warrior ditches BCHL for U.S.

‘That’s the most important thing – to be able to play,’ says Evans on move to Dubuque Fighting Saints

(Pxhere)
B.C. nurse suspended after using Tensor bandage to trap long-term care patient in room

Susan Malloch voluntarily agreed to a three-day suspension of her certificate of registration

Abbotsford’s Skully White (left), who donated his kidney in December, has started a campaign to find other recipients and donors. The first candidate is retired police officer Gavin Quon. White owns and operates a hotdog stand, Lullys Food Experience, out of the Abbotsford Canadian Tire parking lot. (Facebook photo)
After donating his kidney, Abbotsford hotdog king starts donor campaign

Skully White donated his kidney to customer Tim Hiscock in December

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

(File)
Man allegedly bites Vancouver cop during arrest for outstanding warrant

The officer was treated in hospital for the bite wounds

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after scratching $3M lottery ticket

This marks the BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize

Most Read