North Okanagan residents have an opportunity to embrace the Christmas spirit of giving.
The 38th annual Realtors Food Drive takes place Wednesday, Dec. 2 in Greater Vernon, Armstrong and Enderby, starting at 5 p.m.
“Each single can of food given and received adds to a pile that grows into an enormous amount that will keep the shelves of the food banks open,” said Dawn Taylor, food drive co-ordinator.
“We as realtors give our time and resources to this worthwhile event because it’s a way to give back to the community we so care about.”
Items collected in Armstrong will go to the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club food bank while those collected in Enderby will go to the Feed Enderby and District Food Bank.
In Greater Vernon, donations will help the Salvation Army food bank.
“If this campaign didn’t happen, it would be difficult to meet the needs of the community,” said Ray Lamont, with the Salvation Army.
About 800 Christmas hampers will be handed out in Vernon.
“The face of poverty is changing because of the economy,” said Lamont.
“Someone may lose their job and they don’t have anything in the bank. Suddenly they need us.”
In other cases, someone may become ill and the high cost of prescriptions means they don’t have enough money to put food on the table.
Lamont says unpredictable circumstances in life could force many to walk into a food bank for the first time.
“Most people live paycheque to paycheque and don’t have savings.”
During the summer, the Vernon food bank assisted an average of 1,000 people monthly.
Lumby realtors will not be going door to door Dec. 2 but donations can be dropped off at real estate offices in the village.
Many areas in Greater Vernon will be pre-bagged Dec. 1.
“As well as the more than 200 realtors and their families and friends, we also receive help from the financial institution workers in the community and the North Okanagan branch of the Early Childhood Educators of B.C.,” said Taylor.
“A food drive of this scale and the important awareness that it brings to the community can only be achieved by working together.”