North Okanagan residents can spread the joy of Christmas simply by opening their door.
The 36th annual Realtors Food Drive takes place Wednesday in Greater Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby and Lumby.
“Community support is always really positive,” said Dawn Taylor, an event organizer.
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 during the event, including financial institutions, individual families and the North Okanagan branch of the Early Childhood Educators of B.C.
“We want to give back to the community and there is a significant need in the community,” said Taylor.
Residents are asked to turn their outside lights on and place their bag of food on the front step for collection.
The donations help the food banks with Christmas hampers and fill the shelves well into the new year.
“This food drive is really essential for our ongoing operations,” said David MacBain, community ministries director for the Salvation Army food bank in Vernon.
“It’s something the realtors have a heart for and we appreciate their kindness.”
It’s anticipated that the Vernon food bank will hand out about 850 Christmas hampers this year.
“With the recession, our numbers climbed dramatically and while there has been a slight decrease, it hasn’t dropped to pre-recession levels,” said MacBain.
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 Wednesday’s food drive, residents can call their local real estate office and someone will pick up their donation.