For the third year in a row, the streets of Revelstoke will be lit up by flashing lights during the Emergency Services Fight Back Against Hunger food drive.
Taking place on September 18 & 19, the food drive will see more than 100 volunteers – lead by the police, fire department and paramedics – spread out through the entire city to collect food and other goods for the Community Connections Food Bank.
The food drive, which collected almost five tons of food and other goods last year, as well as $6,200 in cash and other donations, is a major boon for the food bank. Last year’s haul lasted until July this year. It provided 10 months worth of extras for the food bank to give out to the 130 clients who use the food bank, said director Patti Larson.
“The food we collect from the food drive not only adds to our normal stock of food but also gives us additional items we normally wouldn’t have – things we wouldn’t consider packing in hampers,” she said.
The cash, which included $2,600 that was collected during the drive, a matching donation from an anonymous donour and $1,000 in Cooper’s gift cards from the Knights of Pythias, was used to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, and dairy products.
“We can always do the basics, but this allows them a bit more and gives some choices in what they take,” said Larson.
The food drive is put on by Revelstoke’s emergency services personnel, and the grunt work of organizing it is done by Krista Carnegie, who coordinates all the volunteers. She will organize them into groups and tell them which section of town to cover.
Residents will be notified which day to expect someone to show up at their door.
For Carnegie, the food drive is an example of how much Revelstoke cares.
“It never ceases to impress me how people are so willing to come out to help others – and in this case, it is compounded by the fact that yes, we have all of these amazing volunteers, but that would mean nothing if people weren’t so willing to give when we come to their doors,” she said. “This isn’t just me or Patti, or the volunteers. This is an entire community coming together for a cause.”
Some of the most needed items at the food bank are: Big cans of chunky soup (as opposed to tomato soup, which isn’t as nutritiuos), rice, canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned meats, pasta and sauces, cereal, fruit juice, canned or powdered milk, peanut butter, kids snack items, toiletries, laundry detergent, diapers and baby wipes, and baby food.
Larson hopes everyone in town will know about the food drive so nobody panics when the lights start flashing all over town.
“We don’t want people to be frightened,” she said. “In the past couple of years I’ve heard we scared the bejeezus out of people.”
People interested in volunteering during the food drive can contact Carnegie at Carnegie@telus.net If you want to help out sorting food afterwards at the food bank, contact Larson at email@example.com.
For more information, look for the event on Facebook, or visit the website community-connections.ca/emergency-services-food-drive.