Uriah Kane (left)

Uriah Kane (left)

Vernon food drive vital to community

The B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive in Vernon is set for Saturday

An annual Thanksgiving food drive is coming up less than a month before the holiday.

The House of Hope Food Bank has been operated in Vernon by the Salvation Army for more than 31 years.

“It is a vital part of our community and currently provides food to upwards of 1,000 people per month,” said Uriah Kane, who helps organize the annual B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive in Vernon.

“Their needs are growing in these uncertain economic times, particularly in September with the start of the school year, and in December with the financial challenges of the holiday season.”

The B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive is a provincial organization with volunteers in every major community in B.C., and is currently organizing the sixth annual Food Drive scheduled for Saturday.

Prior to the event, volunteers will drop off grocery bags to the doorsteps of as many homes in Vernon as possible with an attached flyer that includes instructions.

The same volunteers will come back between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Saturday , to pick up the food donations.

On the day of the food drive, if bags have not been picked up by noon, donors are being asked to kindly make arrangements to drop off their donations to the House of Hope Food Bank located at 3303-32nd Avenue in Vernon.

As an organization, last year’s B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive saw 5,399 people volunteer more than 16,312 hours of service across the province, collecting more than 442,145 pounds of food for food banks across British Columbia.

In the Okanagan, an estimated 585 volunteers collected more than 97,779 pounds of food, with the value of the food donated and collected estimated at $246,403.08.

“Here in Vernon, the event’s organizers are hoping to match the 25,000 pounds that were donated and collected in 2015,” said Kane.

“This massive initiative is only possible with the help of volunteers and donors. Donors are asked to give non-perishable food items and to check the expiry dates if possible.”

The food bank has a number of high priority items it is hoping to collect this year including dry pasta, pasta sauces and canned fruits and vegetables.

The local food bank is entirely dependent upon the generosity of the donors and volunteers, who gather, sort and stock the food that is provided to those who qualify for support.

The B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive is looking for additional community partners and volunteers, who can donate some time to serve the needs of the community.

Anyone interested, can call Kane at 250-550-0182.