David MacBain (left)

David MacBain (left)

Shelves overflowing with generosity

Thousands of items jammed the shelves at North Okanagan food banks during the 34th annual Realtors’ Food Drive Wednesday.

They came in boxes and bags or one can at a time.

Thousands of items jammed the shelves at North Okanagan food banks during the 34th annual Realtors’ Food Drive Wednesday.

“It was just awesome. People were ready for us,” said Dawn Taylor, one of the event organizers.

In Greater Vernon, 20 tons of food was collected, up from 19 tons last year.

“It’s tremendous. The community support never ceases to amaze me,” said David MacBain, with the Salvation Army food bank. “It’s an absolutely wonderful gift.”

In many cases, donations were sitting on door steps, waiting to be picked up.

“People were calling and saying, “Don’t forget about me,’” said Steve Bali, an event organizer.

Volunteers were sorting through the donations Thursday so the anticipated 800 Christmas food hampers can be filled.

But the realtors’ drive will also feed people well into 2012.

“This will last for a couple of months but we’re always in need of support,” said MacBain.

Realtors in Enderby collected 3,600 pounds of food Wednesday, an increase from 3,400 in 2010.

“They always pull through,” said Dianne Nadeau, food bank co-ordinator, of community generosity.

Currently, there have been 91 requests for Christmas hampers at the Enderby food bank.

“There will be more to come. There will be about 120 hampers,” said Nadeau.

The amount of food raised in Lumby isn’t known, but it was significant.

“The shelves are full and items are still coming in,” said Ben Winters, food bank co-ordinator Thursday.

“The people out here are such givers.”

The Lumby food bank will issue about 110 hampers this holiday season.

“People realize there is a problem,” said Winters of a lack of employment and poverty.

In Armstrong, the food drive collected 8,183 items for the food bank operated by the Boys and Girls Club.

“We were worried we wouldn’t have enough to hand out and now everyone gets their vegetables and fruit,” said Christine Fedick, administrative assistant.

About 150 Christmas hampers are anticipated, and Fedick says the Realtors’ Food Drive has made that possible.

“We never would be able to do it without the community,” she said.