Parksville Qualicum Beach food drive nets 5,700 pounds

Donations roll in for Mount Arrowsmith Food Bank

Trina Jiggins, left, co-ordinator of the Parksville Qualicum Beach Salvation Army Food Bank, takes delivery of donations with the help of driver Phil Lamarche during the annual B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive held in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. — Photo submitted by BCTFD

Residents and sponsors in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area have once again shown their overwhelming support for the local edition of the B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive (BCTFD).

The annual event, held Saturday Sept. 16, 2017, drew more than 20 volunteers who went door-to-door and collected more than 5,700 pounds of non-perishable food for the Mount Arrowsmith 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, said Trina Jiggins, co-ordinator of the Mount Arrowsmith Food Bank. Those who do, come from the most vulnerable segment of this community.

“We are very thankful to Christine and all the volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for taking on this challenge,” said Jiggins. “We are so grateful to have received over 5,700 pounds of food for our community members.”

More than half of all the households that rely on the food banks are families with children; half these again are headed by single parents, according to a written release from BCTFD. 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, BCTFD says.

The provincial-wide project, now in its seventh year, has collected more than $1 million worth of food for the more than 50 community food banks in their local areas. Co-ordinated on the same day each year, the drive this year involved more than 5,000 volunteers who delivered grocery bags to homes in each community, then returned Saturday to collect the bags that residents donated. The donations are then taken directly to the local food banks, where they are sorted and weighed.

The local BCTFD event in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area was sponsored by several organizations, including Qualicum Foods for the bags, Thrifty Foods and Parks West in Parksville.

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

— NEWS Staff and BCTFD submission