By David F. Rooney
For two days this week starting tomorrow Revelstokians have an opportunity to show how to pull together to help our neighbours as the Food Bank stages its most important food drive of the year.
The Emergency Services Fight Back Against Hunger campaign brings out not just cops, firefighters, paramedics, national park wardens and City staff, but big-hearted adults and children from all walks of life: Army Cadets, Girl Guides, local students, and ordinary moms and dads.
It begins at 6 pm on Wednesday, September 16, when volunteers gather at the RCMP detachment. That’s when s cores of volunteers will fan out across the city, knocking on doors and collecting non-perishable food items, toiletries, grooming aids, cash donations and other items for the Food Bank
“This is the fifth year we have done this,” Patti Larson, Community Connections’ director of Outreach Services, said in an interview. “I’m hoping we’ll collect 8,000 to 12,000 pounds of food and a significant amount in cash donations. We collected $5,000 last year.”
It is impossible to overestimate the value of this public effort. Winter is coming and stocks at the Food Bank are falling. The food they collect this year will help carry the Food Bank through to Christmas.
If you are your typically generous and conscientious Revelstokian you’ll put together a bag of non-perishable foodstuffs and have it ready to give the volunteer who comes to your door. Patti asks that you check to the best-before date on the labels of your donation. There’s no point in handing over expired foods; the Food Bank will just have to throw them out.
Here is a list of the edibles the Food Bank needs:
Tuna, salmon, other meats;
Pasta and sauces;
Meal in a tin (stew);
Canned vegetables and fruit;
Canned or powered milk;
Toothpaste, toilet paper;
Shampoo and soap;
Diapers, wipes; and
The Food Bank also runs a weekly Kids Snack Program that can really use juice boxes, granola bars, fruit cups, cracker snacks and fruit leathers.
And while they are not food items, new and unused combs, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hand soap, nail clippers and other grooming tools are also welcome.
“Please support us by having food ready over the course of Wednesday and Thursday night for our volunteers,” said campaign organizer Krista Kallio. “We will be arriving between 6 and 8 pm. If you aren’t going to be home, please leave your donations on your doorstep and we will pick them up, or take your donations to Coopers. Thank you so much for your support!”
One of the challenges facing Patti and the organizers of this year’s food drive was storage. In years past the Food Bank had stored food in a secure space at Peter Humphreys’ Big Eddy Fuels compound in the Big Eddy. Unfortunately, Peter had to use it for other purposes this year and Patti spent weeks frantically-but-quietly trying to lineup another 600-square-foot space to keep all the food.
Then, at the last minute she found her white knight. “We finally found space,” she said. “The storage is donated and the location is private but very suitable for our needs.”
Well, Patti, that sounds like one thing less you have to worry about. Now, let’s hope this year’s two-day food drive is a successful one.