By David F. Rooney
Weeks of agonizing over the Emergency Services Food Drive left Community Connections Food Bank Coordinator Patti Larson feeling a little beat up until she weighed and counted all of the donations of food and cash on Friday, September 20.
Exhausted though she was, Patti had a real smile to share as she realized just how successful the two-day canvas of the city, organized by logistics whiz Krista Carnegie, had been: 11,795 lbs of food and $5,900. The donated food was estimated to be worth $30,000 and will go a long way towards alleviating hunger in our community.
“Everyone did a tremendous job,” Patti told
The Current. “I owe a big thank you to everyone who came this year.”
But there was a bittersweet element to this year’s drive: this could be the last year of it for RCMP Const. Gary McLaughlin. Gary originally suggested the Emergency Services Food Drive to Patti and his then NCIO, Staff-Sgt. Jacquie Olsen, three years ago. The idea gained a lot of traction within the community and really acts as a way to mobilize people of all ages and backgrounds in Revelstoke. Unfortunately for Revelstoke, Gary may be moving to the North Okanagan. His departure will leave a void.
Here’s a selection of photos from this year’s two-day food drive that we hope you’s enjoy:
The two-day Emergency Services Food Drive got under way on Wednesday with well over 100 volunteers prepared to cover the north half of the city soliciting both food and cash donations for the Food Bank whose stocks were reduced to hand sanitizers and baby food this summer. How did they do over two days? Generous and compassionate Revelstokians gave 11,795 lbs of food and $5,900 in cash. That’s an amazing increase over last year when people gave 8,850 lbs of food and $1,500. David F. Rooney photo Tennille Barber,Community Connections’ IT lady, squats on top of the dumpster and she takes video, and The Times Review’s Alex Cooper shoots photos of Patti Larson’s remarks of the kick off of the Emergency Services Food drive. As coordinator of the Community Connections’ Food Bank Patti deeply wanted this massive effort to be successful. And, boy, was it ever. That success was due to the generosity of the community at large, the energy of the 200+ volunteers who came out to help and the organizational skills of Krista Carnegie (center, beside Patti) David F. Rooney photo Volunteers from the ATV club and other groups listen closely as logistical organizer Krista Carnegie announces who’s going where on Wednesday evening. Volunteers covered the northern part f the City and he Big Eddy on Wednesday evening. David F. Rooney Tom Dickson and other ATV Club volunteers started picking up donations in near the golf course in Columbia Park. David F. Rooney photo You could easily tell when volunteers from the food drive were in your neighbourhood ’cause the fire trucks, ambulances and police cars that were taking part would let off a blast from their hors or sirens! David F. Rooney photo Leif Carnegie and Kane Kapak, both Grade 7 students at Columbia Park Elementary haul donations back to their support vehicle. David F. Rooney photo Thursday evening’s portion of Emergency Services Food Drive saw about 100 people come out. It was the first night out for most of them. Police, firefighters, paramedics, Search and Rescue personnel, Parks Canada staff, Emergency Social Services staff, Community Connections staff and volunteers, Army Cadets, Girl Guides and Brownies, Grizzlies, contingents from the Baptist and Alliance Churches, Nordic Ski Club members and people from many other groups all came out to help pick up and/or solicit food and cash donations from residents. David F. Rooney photo The United Church’s Rev. Ken Jones hands a bag of food to Giles Shearing of the local Search and Rescue team. David F. Rooney photo Peter Kimmel, Giles Shearing and Claire MacDonald hit the jackpot on one block of Fifth Street East. David F. Rooney photo Girl Guide leader Michelle Cole had some willing helpers in Sophia Page and Toni Voykin in Arrow Heights on Thursday. David F. Rooney photo Tammy Voykin hands off another box of food to Michelle. David F. Rooney photo Simon Hunt takes a couple of hefty bags from one of the Girl Guides under his supervision in Arrow Heights. David F. Rooney photo The Girl Guides were excited and eager to help. Their leaders regard the Emergency Services Food Drive as an excellent character-building exercise for their young members. Here Mandy Kellner (left) and her daughters Polly and Sophie combined with Bex Reid Parkin and her daughter, Monica (right) for a fun-filled evening of volunteering. David F. Rooney photo Simon chaperones Sani Suppinem across the street as his daughters Emily and Madeline race ahead to the next house. David F. Rooney photo By 7:30 vehicles full of food began returning to the RCMP detachment where volunteers sorted all of the offerings into specifically labelled boxes. Canned soups in one, noodles in another and so on. David F. Rooney photo As the boxes were filled other volunteers hustled them into a storage unit at the detachment where they were kept until Friday. By noon on Friday Community Connections Food Bank Coordinator Patti Larson knew that this year’s Emergency Services Food Drive was the most productive of the three that have been held since 2011 with 11,795 lbs. of donated food and $5,900 in cash donations, including from $1,000 from the Knights of Pythias, $1,000 from the Baptist Church and $500 from Downie Timber. The rest came in donations of $100, $50, $20 and so on. David F. Rooney photo