North Okanagan residents are opening their doors again to neighbours in need.
The 37th annual Realtors Food Drive takes place Wednesday in Armstrong, Coldstream Enderby and Vernon.
“As realtors, we give our time and resources to this worthwhile event because it is a way to give back to the community we care about,” said Dawn Taylor, food drive organizer.
Non-perishable food items that are collected will be donated to the community food banks in Armstrong, Enderby and Vernon.
“I’m always excited about the real estate food drive because it’s an important part of our preparations for Christmas and into 2015,” said David MacBain, with the Salvation Army food bank in Vernon.
“We continue to have a steady flow of residents in need.”
It’s anticipated that the Vernon food bank will hand out about 800 Christmas hampers this year.
Vernon realtors will be joined during the food drive by staff from local financial institutions and the North Okanagan branch of the Early Childhood Educators of B.C.
In Enderby, realtors will be joined by Enderby Financial and A.L. Fortune Secondary students.
“We collect more than 2,000 pounds a year on average,” said Colin Fothergill, Enderby organizer.
“The donated food items stay in Enderby to benefit those in need just as those in Vernon stay there.”
Donation bags will be distributed in many Vernon areas Tuesday (but not in Enderby) and the food drive will begin at 5 p.m. in all communities Wednesday.
There will not be a door-to-door campaign in Lumby but residents can drop food off at the Lumby real estate offices for the local food bank.
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.
Taylor is confident North Okanagan residents will support their neighbours in need during the holiday season.
“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,” she said.
It will take the food banks days to process all of the donations from the Realtors Food Drive.
“We need volunteers to help sort and organize and we appreciate their support,” said MacBain.