Volunteers load sorted boxes onto the truck for delivery. (submitted)

Volunteers load sorted boxes onto the truck for delivery. (submitted)

Thanksgiving food drive collects 13,000 pounds for food banks

There is great community involvement in the drive with many unsung heroes.

The folks behind the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive are sending out a big thank you to the residents of Cowichan Valley and the local sponsors who overwhelmingly supported the local edition of the food drive held Saturday, Sept. 16.

The BCTFD event included more than 180 volunteers providing more than 500 hours of service to the community. They were able to visit more than 5,000 homes, and collected more than 13,000 pounds of non-perishable food for Cowichan Food Basket Society food bank.

The local food bank shelves need this boost at this time of year as more and more of the community is relying on this resource for their daily food.

Those who do, come from the most vulnerable segment of this community. Over half of all the households that rely on the food banks are families with children; half these again are headed by single parents. In total, almost 40 per cent of the recipients of the food bank’s assistance are under the age of 18. Other vulnerable groups include low-wage earners, those with inadequate employment and people on disability income assistance.

Delighted with the amount of aid given, Colleen Fuller who manages the food bank stated, “This Food Drive is the easiest drive we do all year, it is so well organized and everyone is fabulous to work with. I think there was more food collected this year than last year. We had 37 routes this year covering over 5,000 houses. Two and a half cube vans and three pickups were filled (with approximately 13,000 pounds of food).

“People in the community are phenomenal at contributing to the food drive because it is made so easy for them. We are absolutely over the moon with the community response,” she said. “There are a few smaller food banks in the Valley who also receive a portion of the donations so the effects are far reaching. The food from this drive will carry us through Christmas and it is just amazing. There is great community involvement in the drive with many unsung heroes. The seniors group from the United Church dropped off bags to 37 houses and collected 45 bags — the highest return per capita for the drive! A special thanks to Island Ford who donated a Ford pickup truck to the food bank, as well as volunteers to help. So many other businesses also contributed and we are so grateful to everyone who pitched in to make this such a successful event.”

The local BCTFD event in the Cowichan Valley was sponsored by several organizations including Country Grocer, Superstore, Save-on Foods, Shoppers Drug Mart, Peninsula Co-op, Home Depot, Bulk Barn, Rona, Home Hardware, for bags and Island Ford, for use of a truck and a team and Island Savings for a team as well as Staples, Bosch Kitchen Centre, and OGW Medical Service for printing.

For additional information please visit foodbanksbritishcolumbia.ca and bctfooddrive.org.