Kathryn Collins was given a big job to do, but she has squared her shoulders and got down to work, organizing this weekend’s drive in Qualicum Beach and Parksville to help the Salvation Army Food Bank, and the people who rely on it.
She was given the task by her church, Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but she makes no bones about Saturday’s British Columbia Thanksgiving Food Drive drive being an effort by the whole community.
“It’s the community that will make a difference,” she said, and I hope, in my small way, to help out.”
That assistance, she added, is desperately needed.
“Local food banks need help,” she said. “In Canada there are over 100,000 people each month in need, and food banks don’t get government funding. Many would go hungry without them.”
The food drive, she said, involves 400 homes in both Qualicum Beach and Parksville having either Thrifty’s or Quality Foods grocery bags dropped off, with a flyer stapled to each, explaining the program.
The bags and flyers, she said, are being delivered by eight teams of about two to four community members, about half from the Mormon congregation and the rest made up of other church and community groups, as well as individual citizens.
These same teams, she said, will go back over their route on Saturday, picking up any and all donations.
“People will just donate what they can,” she said. “We would like to have as many donations as possible, but there is no specific goal.”
The flyers, she noted, contain a 1-800 number that can be called for any questions about the program.
Although she stressed that anything is welcome, Collins said the campaign is looking for some specific items, such as canned meat and fish, canned fruits and vegetables, peanut butter, baby formula, baby food, rice, whole wheat pasta and sauce and pet food. All donations, she said, will go straight to the Salvation Army Food Bank, headquartered in French Creek.
Salvation Army Major Rolf Guenther said he welcomes the campaign, because, as is often the case at this time of year, the shelves at the food bank are not exactly full right now.
“This is a good time for this,” he said. “Stocks are dwindling.”