Gordon Oliver of the B.C Thanksgiving Food Drive speak about the upcoming collection as (left to right) Central Okanagan Food Bank executive director Lenetta Parry, and the mayors of Kelowna and West Kelowna, Colin Basran and Doug Findlater look on.—Image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Flooding and fires put Central Okanagan food bank donations ‘way behind’

The Central Okanagan Food Bank in Kelowna has collected half as much food as normal this summer.

This summer’s floods and fires in the Central Okanagan have had a dramatic impact on donations to the local food bank.

According to Lenetta Parry, executive director of the Central Okanagan Food Bank, during a typical summer her organization collects about 200,000 pounds of food to be distributed in Kelowna and West Kelowna to those in need. But this summer, that number has plummeted to about 100,000 pounds.

And the biggest reason, according to Parry, is the recent series of local disasters.

“So this year there’s an added sense of emergency,” said Parry, announcing the seventh annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, slated to take place across B.C., including in the Central Okanagan, Sept. 11 to 16.

“As you know, this year our area has been affected by fires and flooding. So our team has been aiding evacuees, working with other food banks to make sure resources are where they’re needed and supporting local agencies in their fire and flood relief efforts.”

As a result, she said, the food bank is “way behind” in food donation collections.

As a result, instead of the usual 50,000 pounds of food that the annual B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive collects in this area each September, a “lofty” goal of 150,000 pounds of food has been set.

“There is a real need out there,” said Gordon Oliver, spokesman for the food drive.

That message was echoed by the mayors of Kelowna and West Kelowna, who were on hand to help support the upcoming food drive.

Both Colin Basran and Doug Findlater praised the work of the local food bank, noting the staggering need and how easy it will be to donate food items during the food drive.

From Sept. 11 to 15, an army of volunteers will fan out across the two cities, and leave bags on front doors with information attached about the drive, the most needed food items and instructions about how to participate.

Residents are asked to put non-perishable food items in the bags and rehang the bags on their doors. On Sept. 16, the volunteers will return and collect the filed bags.

This year, to help people in multi-family buildings and gated communities participate, special drop-off locations will be set up at the Save-On Foods store in Orchard Plaza and at the Costco store in Kelowna, as well as at the West Kelowna Save-On Foods store in Westbank.

In addition, leading up to the Sept. 16 collection, volunteers at the Kelowna food bank’s Ellis Street depot and the West Kelowna depot on Churchill Road in Westbank will also accept donations for the Thanksgiving Food Drive.

All the food collected in each community will stay in the community where it was donated.

Just Posted

Justice to decide court’s jurisdiction over Indigenous man

Alex Louie, also known as Senklip, is standing trial over 9 charges related to alleged gun smuggling

Driver trapped for 16 hours after car flips

Member of Anarchist Mountain Volunteer Fire Department in Osoyoos made discovery while out for walk

Increase in carbon monoxide closes Osoyoos arena

South Okanagan arena closed as of Monday morning to deal with repairs

Penticton pilots new mobile parking payment app

Eliminating the need to carry change for parking meters

Artist recruitment begins for 2018 sculpture exhibition

Penticton is looking for sculptors to participate in its second public sculpture exhibition

Rally condemns violence, promotes healing

Discovery of human remains and disappearances of women have created tension in the rural community

Province grants $784,000 for Okanagan projects

Rural Dividend grants support Okanagan community projects

B.C. NDP convention set for Victoria

Premier, federal leader Jagmeet Singh to add energy

Silver Creek RCMP search expands north

RCMP were seen collecting evidence three kilometres north of the farm where human remains were found

B.C. school trustee calls LGBTQ school program ‘weapon of propaganda’

Chilliwack’s Barry Neufeld published the comments on his Facebook page

B.C. couple hope boat drone becomes first to cross Atlantic

Colin and Julie Angus of Victoria to have drone collect environmental data en route

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by B.C. city councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Most Read