Food drive proves popular

Following Saturday’s B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive, donations continue to pour in.

The scale of caring is being tipped even further as the need to feed is filled by local residents.

Following Saturday’s B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive, donations continue to pour in.

“I personally received about another 50 to 60 calls from residents here in Vernon (between Saturday night and Tuesday morning) who didn’t end up putting anything out on Saturday morning, but still wanted to make a donation,” said Uriah Kane, executive director of the Vernon chapter.

As a result, a couple of apple bins have been set up at the Salvation Army (behind Staples), for those wishing to help stock the shelves.

“I was at the food bank (Tuesday), and they confirmed they’ve had a bunch of people dropping off bags, which is awesome.”

Final totals for the food drive are adding up to an excess of 25,000 pounds.

Those numbers are added to additional efforts last week, Stuff the Bus which raised more than 8,000 pounds and Making a Dent in Hunger which collected 2,400 pounds, plus $4,600 in cash donations, for a total of 35,400 pounds.

“Vernon is an amazing city, especially when it comes its residents stepping up to the plate to help out the Salvation Army’s Food Bank,” said Kane. “We’re humbled by the results this year, and are very appreciative.”

Across the Interior, B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive ended up collecting 106,000 pounds of food for local food banks here in the Thompson-Okanagan (including Vernon, Salmon Arm, Kelowna, Penticton, Kamloops and Merritt).

“As a group here in Vernon, we ended up passing out bags and flyers to approximately 8,560 homes, with 2,266 homes providing donations,” said Kane.

More than 200 volunteers made the event possible, fanning out across more than 90 different routes across the city. They put in a combined 709 volunteer hours towards the initiative to stock the food bank shelves, which were becoming quite bare prior to the drive.

“We couldn’t do any of this without the tireless support and efforts of our B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive volunteers.”

The support, from both volunteers and donors is adding up considerably.

Two years ago the drive collected 10,200 pounds and last year approximately 16,000 pounds was raised.

“This year, our official goal was 18,000, but privately I was really hoping we’d be able to collect in excess of 20,000,” said Kane.

“So, doing 24,800 pounds was pretty exciting for us at it represents more than a 35 per cent increase year-over-year.”