Juanita Lesyk

Juanita Lesyk

Rooftop food drive collects generous donation

Save On Foods' suppliers roll in with more than 15,000 lbs of goods for Vernon's Salvation Army

A major donation has pushed a local drive over its original goal.

Save On Foods received a more than 15,000 lb donation Friday morning towards the Vernon store’s rooftop food drive.

“They (head office) went to all our vendors to see who could support the food bank,” said Carlos Laranjo, Save On Foods operations manager. “We’ve got Bounty, toilet paper, laundry soap…”

The donation is added to donations received from the community as store manager Jim Tennant has been camping out on the roof of the store since Monday in an effort to raise 12,800 lbs of food.

Despite surpassing the goal, Tennant isn’t getting down from the roof just yet.

“I’m staying all weekend,” joking that his wife was coming by to donate more food just to keep him up there.

A local supplier also pitched in with a significant donation. The Shuswap Coffee Company, out of Salmon Arm, donated 46 lbs of organic, fair trade coffee to the cause.

“We changed our packaging so this was an excellent place to put the coffee with the old packaging,” said Tara Shantz with the Shuswap Coffee Co.

The rooftop food drive is part of a bigger drive which the Village Green Centre has been part of since February. Through Bentall Kennedy Canada, the shopping centre is competing against 16 other malls across Canada to see who can raise the most food for their food bank. The winner will receive a $10,000 donation to their local food bank. The contest ends Oct. 31.

Salvation Army’s David MacBain says whether they win the $10,000 or not, this drive will greatly assist the food banks efforts.

It will also assist the food bank during it’s greatest time of need – Christmas, but MacBain notes that unfortunately it won’t completely erase the need.

“We’re still going to be in a position of great need at Christmas time.”

And with approximately 400-500 households served each month by the food bank (a number that is growing), the need last year-round, therefore ongoing donations are always needed.

“Tens of thousands of dollars worth of food goes through the food bank every year.”