Food drive gives thanks for local generosity

North Islanders always impress with donations at Thanksgiving.

Dear editor,

I am sure we are all aware of the incredible support that our communities have shown to the many charities and service groups on the North Island. As we prepare for the second annual British Columbia Thanksgiving Food Drive (BCTFD) I wanted to start by letting you know of the incredible response we had last year.

Last year being our first year, and with only a small band of volunteers, we were hoping to gather donations of five or six boxes of food. One of our volunteers had participated in a similar food drive in Calgary and had suggested that there would be an average collection of one in five houses, and each house would contribute roughly three cans of food.

We were all shocked when the collections came in last September. The collectors reported that over half the doors had food items and that the typical donation was a full donation bag. Our prediction of a few boxes of food turned into over 1500 pounds of food.

As was the case last year, the donated food will be delivered to the Harvest Food Bank in Port Hardy, which services the entire North Island. I would again encourage those who receive a donation bag to consider the needs of many of our needy families on the North Island.

More than half of all households relying on food banks are families with children. Almost 40% of food bank recipients are under the age of 18. Other vulnerable groups include low-wage earners, those with inadequate employment, and people on disability income assistance. If you would like to know more about the Food Drive and its many provincial partners please visit bctfoodrive.org.

To those participating I would like to say that, while your donation may be small, it sends a huge message to others of your caring and concern. Please look for the white bags on your doorstep on Tuesday, Sept. 11, and then remember to place your donations in a visible place on Saturday, Sept 15. We will not be collecting perishable items or any money at the door, though I am sure these would be accepted directly at the Harvest Food Bank.

I would like to extend special thanks to the Harvest Food Bank and their amazing volunteers and to our wonderful North Island communities. We truly are small communities with huge hearts.

Drew Neilson

North Island Chair

BC Thanksgiving Food Drive