Christmas is a time for giving and an annual tradition allows North Okanagan residents to embrace that spirit.
The 35th annual Realtors’ Food Drive takes place Dec. 5 in Greater Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby and Lumby starting at 5 p.m.
“We do it for the good of others,” said Dawn Taylor, food drive co-ordinator.
“We all have a personal attachment to the community and we want to make it a better place.”
Realtors will be going door-to-door in neighbourhoods and collecting donations of non-perishable food items for the local food banks.
Other groups will also be providing assistance including financial institutions, individual families and the North Okanagan Child Care Society.
Residents are asked to turn their outside lights on and place their bag of food on the front step for pickup.
In many cases, bags will be distributed a couple of days before courtesy of Save-On Foods and Safeway.
“Everyone really gets behind this event,” said Taylor.
Local agencies are looking forward to the food drive.
“Without this food drive, we’d be in a challenging position to meet the needs of Christmas and well into 2013,” said David MacBain, community ministries director for the Salvation Army food bank in Vernon.
It’s anticipated that 850 Christmas hampers could be distributed in Vernon this year.
“Many of the people we see are employed or on disability (pension),” said MacBain.
“Some are between jobs. They are trying their best to care for themselves and their families.”
Among the food items being sought during the Realtors’ Food Drive are rice, pasta, canned meat and fish, canned fruit and vegetables, tomato products, beans, flour, sugar, cereal, peanut butter, jam, oatmeal and canned or powdered milk.
If homes are missed during the food drive, residents can call their local real estate office and someone will pick up their donation.
Food items can also be left at The Morning Star, 4407 25th Avenue.
“We’re very excited about the community support. The generosity is overwhelming,” said MacBain.