Food Feat aids needy in Nanoose Bay

Sixth annual 5k benefit run/walk takes place Sunday

Food Feat aids needy in Nanoose Bay

For the past six years, Nanoose Bay residents have laced up their running shoes and run, walked or cycled a 5km route around their community – not only to enjoy the fresh air and the fun of the run, but also to help their less fortunate neighbours.

This year’s Feat for Food event will begin at 10 a.m. April 2 at 2461 Collins Crescent, behind Red Gap Centre. All proceeds from the event, sponsored by local dental clinic Nanoose Bay Dental, will go to Nanoose Community Services (NCS).

NCS provides support to 45 households in Nanoose Bay throughout the year. These are families with more than one child, single parent moms and dads, and individuals — all of whom have fallen on hard times and are living well below the poverty line, most often in sub-standard housing.

Volunteers provide clients with food vouchers each month and, when needed, help with essential services such as heating, transportation to medical appointments and job interviews, dentistry, optical lenses, prescription drugs and housing. Originally a traditional food bank, NCS now offers much more directed food assistance through a food card system. These cards are redeemable in the Nanoose Bay or other Quality Foods stores, providing clients with freedom, dignity and choice.

The transition to food cards has been well-received. It enables families to make their own choices; sometimes based upon allergies, sometimes upon their cooking facilities.

One notable example was a client who possessed only a microwave and was unable to cook pasta (often a staple on traditional food bank shelves). He was pleased to be able to buy potatoes to bake and add his favourite toppings.

Nanoose Bay Dental has been a valued local partner of NCS for many years – not only sponsoring this very successful walk, but also assisting clients when they are in urgent need of dental care.

Last year’s walk, which drew more than 130 participants, raised $3,700 for NCS and organizers are looking forward to topping that this year. To register or for more info, go to:

— Submitted by NCS