North Islanders will have the chance to dance for a good cause, thanks to a local non-profit, as a fundraising dance in Port Hardy is looking to raise money for the Harvest Food Bank.
The dance will be held June 16th at the Port Hardy Civic Centre and is being organized by the Love North Island Society.
Harvest Food Bank has been feeding North Island residents for over 20 years. However, with rising food costs, the challenge is growing. “The number of people who use the food bank has grown immensely over the 20 years it’s been open”, says Andy Cornell, volunteer manager. “Our hamper program has more than tripled in size from 4 years ago”.
Serving the North Island from Woss to Port Hardy, Harvest has several programs in place to feed those who need it. There is a food hamper program that a family can pick up once a month and a bread bin program, but Harvest also partners with local organizations to extend its reach by contributing food to the school meal program, breakfast programs at the Port Hardy Christian Fellowship, Island Health, a sobriety support group as well as to the Salvation Army.
“The Harvest Food Bank provides a basic need to people that is vital to the community,” says Michael Winter, Community Ministries Supervisor for The Salvation Army, “They donate to us so we can continue with our food programs and we support the Harvest Food Bank in all that they do.”
Funding isn’t the only obstacle facing the food bank. “We need volunteers with a skill set that are willing to come in and commit their time” Cornell stated. For instance, “it would be wonderful to have a food drive coordinator.”
Love North Island Society also plans to have a volunteer board at the event. “We know this community can come together and raise a lot of money for Harvest, so we’ll also give them the chance to sign up for specific volunteer roles if they’re interested,” says Travis Wilson, President of the society.
The community support for Harvest has been evident. “The Lions Club, North Island Lanes, The Dollar Store and Sandwiches By Mars are all donating resources for this event. As soon as I mention Harvest, people are asking how they can help,” says Wilson.
The support is the kind of community spirit exemplified by Harvest itself. As Cornell stated, “If you improve the community you live in, you benefit from that too. “
The Port Hardy Dance Party will be held on June 16th at the Port Hardy Civic Centre. Tickets can be bought at Cafe Guido, The Hobby Nook, Harvest or the Hospital Auxiliary in Port Hardy and East of Java or Shop-Rite in Port McNeill. More information can be found at facebook.com/LoveNorthIsland.