Drive to help needy

It’s a North Island first, but organizers of a limited food drive hope it’s one of many more.

  • Sep. 8, 2011 8:00 p.m.

It’s a North Island first, but organizers of a limited food drive hope it’s one of many more.

“It’s the first time doing this on the North Island,” said Drew Neilson, with the Port McNeill congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is joining a British Columbia-wide food drive to help those in need.

“The goal’s not just for a year — our hope is this will happen every year.”

Three teams of volunteers are at the ready to drop bags at Port McNeill homes with the hope they’ll be returned with canned and other non-perishable food for the Port Hardy Food Bank, which services the North Island.

It works like this: on Sept. 14 Neilson and his volunteers will be dropping plastic white bags off at about 450 Port McNeill homes.

“The bags will be picked up between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. the following Saturday,” Sept. 17, said Neilson, who noted expectations are not high for the inaugural drive.

“If we get 40 cans of food, I’m happy, because someone told me you basically get a (filled) bag every four or five houses,” said Neilson.

If you’re don’t receive a bag but want to participate, there’s a way he said.“If anyone would like to drop off food, they can do so Sept. 17 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on Mine Road in Port McNeill.”

The collection, touted as the B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive will involve about 3,000 volunteers around the province.

The effort is non-denominational and several other churches, corporate sponsors, and volunteers from the general public will be joining in the big food drive, which is designed to become an annual event says President Tom Terry, of the North Island congregation, which meets in Port McNeill.

“This is an amazing reaching out among caring people all over our province and we are excited to have others join us so willingly.”

The BC Thanksgiving Food Drive is being organized in conjunction with Food Banks British Columbia and conforms to the association’s code of ethics.

No cash donations will be solicited door-to-door.

As well as Port McNeill, the food drive on Vancouver Island will involve Latter-day Saint congregations in Duncan, Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Qualicum, Courtenay, Campbell River, and Powell River.

Individual or community group volunteers are welcome and duties range from collecting to sorting food stuffs.

If you’d like to help out, please call Neilson at 250-956-2254.