Partnership feeds Salvation Army Food Bank

The Village Green Centre is doing its part to assist the Salvation Army Food Bank.

With close to one million Canadians seeking help from food banks every month, donations of both food and cash are always appreciated at food banks across the country and here in the North Okanagan.

Thanks to the recently launched Fare Fight For Food Challenge, the Village Green Centre is doing its part to assist the Salvation Army Food Bank.

Launched by Bentall Kennedy, which manages the Village Green Centre, the national initiative will partner the company’s shopping centres in 17 locations across Canada with local food banks.

“We are partnering with the Salvation Army and we have plans in place for a big fundraiser,” said Village Green general manager Scott Adam.

Until the end of October, the centre and the Salvation Army Food Bank will host special events and promotions to raise awareness about hunger in the community and across the country. Village Green Centre will also compete against other participating malls across Canada, for funds raised and pounds of food collected. Winners will be given one of five $10,000 grants, to be donated to the winner’s partner food bank.

“It’s our chance to go big or go home,” said Adam. “We want that $10,000 and it’s our job to do it. And we are also planning on collecting the most amount of non-perishable food items — we’ll be doing four projects a month.

“The project was launched at a kick-off in Toronto last fall, where managers and mall directors got together with company vice-presidents, divided into teams and hit the streets of Toronto to collect cans of food. We did it very much like you see on The Apprentice and we managed to raise $30,000 and had a great time doing it.”

According to Food Banks Canada, close to 900,000 Canadians are assisted by food banks, and 38 per cent of those helped are children and youth.

David MacBain, community ministries director for the Salvation Army in Vernon, said food bank staff are excited at this corporate initiative being taken by Bentall Kennedy across the country.

“The goal locally is to collect the most amount of non-perishable goods, and Village Green Centre is ramping up to get various businesses on board,” he said. “The food bank staff are very excited about a large national corporation setting up a national competition to help the Salvation Army food bank in Vernon to continue to help our neighbors in need. The VCG has taken us on as their charity of choice this year and we are very excited about that, and we are looking forward to helping those in the community all the more with this assistance.”

Customers are also encouraged to support the food bank by entering the centre’s online contest for a chance to win free groceries for a year, a $3,000 value, at http://villagegreencentre.com/

“Our goal is to raise $75,000 and collect 20,000 pounds of food during our national challenge,” said John Minas, vice president, Retail Services East, Bentall Kennedy, adding that 100 per cent of the proceeds collected during fundraising will go to local food banks across Canada.