Despite reeling in a hefty donation Friday which put Save On Foods’ rooftop food drive well beyond its goal, Jim Tennant continues to camp out atop the store.
The Save On Foods manager will have spent one full week on top the store when he finally climbs down Monday.
“That’s kind of what it’s all about, giving back to the community,” Tennant shouted down from the roof Friday.
Seeing this man camped out with just the bare necessities has prompted the community to give.
“People are hearing about it and reading about it and they come,” said Tennant, who has watched everything from a few coins tossed into the kettle to families unloading their trunk full of non-perishables and local suppliers giving what they can.
But the biggest donation rolled in Friday, as Save On Foods’ corporate suppliers delivered 15,000 pounds of food to the cause.
“That’s fabulous for one company to come through with that amount,” said David MacBain with the Salvation Army.
The abundance of donations is needed, as the food bank has seen a six per cent increase this year over last of those needing the service.
The combined donations through this rooftop food drive and an ongoing drive at the Village Green Centre could also translate into a $10,000 grant to the Vernon food bank.
The shopping centre is competing against 17 other malls across Canada in the Bentall Kennedy Fare Fight For Food Challenge.
“We’re currently in third place but after all this we’ll probably be in first,” said Kelly Kedrosky, VGC marketing manager.
“I’m hoping we get way ahead of the competitors and they can’t compete.”
That is why Tennant is dedicated to his commitment to camp out on the roof, so he can reel in as many donations as possible.
With his shopping basket and kettle dangling from the roof, Tennant jingles bells and entices shoppers from dawn to dusk.
And despite the fact that he hasn’t showered in almost a week, and he’s starting to form a beard from a lack of shaving, Tennant admits he doesn’t have it too bad up there on the roof.
“Beachcomber set me up with a table and chairs and umbrella, I’ve got a little fridge up here, a fireplace…”
He’s even had some company on the roof: Kedrosky has spent a couple nights, MacBain stayed a night and Akbal Mund camped out with Tennant Friday.
But he is looking forward to coming down and enjoying some of the finer things in life – like his family and a shower.