8,140 pounds. 3,700 kilograms. That’s the amount of food that was collected during the Emergency Services Fight Back Against Hunger food drive last week in Revelstoke.
“Holy crap!” exclaimed organizer Krista Carnegie when she heard the total just after the food was weighed Tuesday morning. “That’s insane!”
It was collected over the course of two nights as the police, ambulances and the fire department swept through Revelstoke Wednesday and Thursday evening in search of donations for the food bank.
The drive was conceived by RCMP Const. Gary McLaughlin and united the RCMP, Revelstoke Fire & Rescue Services, BC Ambulance, Parks Canada, adult and youth philanthropic groups, the Revelstoke Grizzlies and the new roller derby team in an effort to collect food for the Community Connections Food Bank.
About 80 volunteers turned out for the first night and after gathering outside the fire department, they divided up into teams and swept through Arrow Heights, Southside and the Big Eddy in search of donations.
Meanwhile, organizer Krista Carnegie and food bank coordinator Patti Larson waited at an empty garage bay at the RCMP detachment for the food to come back.
Each team was accompanied by an emergency services vehicle, complete with lights blazing. Volunteers went door-to-door, collecting what ever people had available. The circulation of emergency vehicles caused questions in some but overall the night appeared to be a success, with most people opening their doors and handing food over.
The teams returned to the garage with truckloads of food. Children, teenagers and adults brought in bag after bag. The loads kept coming as they quickly filled up the RCMP snowmobile garage.
And that was only night one. On Thursday, even more volunteers (around 100 in total) came out to support the cause. They rolled through Columbia Park, Farwell and Central Revelstoke, making sure no door went unknocked. Once again the response was overwhelming and the volunteers came back with load after load of food.
Tuesday morning the food was loaded into a trailer and driven to the weigh station at the Revelstoke dump by Jackie Brosseuk, escorted by Carnegie. That’s when Carnegie found out the total haul – 3,700 kilograms. More than double what was hoped for.