Alan Madsen had a feeling the Salvation Army would receive a donation on Tuesday. But when he saw the number on the cheque, he said he was surprised.
A $10,000 donation came the way of Penticton’s Salvation Army on Tuesday afternoon (Dec. 21), courtesy of Nature’s Fare Markets.
The money was sent to the charity’s food bank and represented a sixth of all the cash donations given out to food banks across B.C. on Tuesday.
“We recognize there are a lot of people and young families who rely on food banks and we’re fortunate to be able to help them get these essentials, especially at this time of year,” said Michael Sherwood, the CEO of Nature’s Fare Markets.
Along with Penticton’s Salvation Army, food banks in Vernon, Kelowna, Langley, White Rock and Kamloops were also given $10,000 cheques ahead of Christmas.
Madsen, the community ministries director at Penticton’s Salvation Army, was presented with the cheque at a local Nature’s Fare Market on Tuesday.
“The amount this year was much larger,” Madsen said. “It’s always a pleasant surprise to receive funds.”
But it wasn’t just the presentation of a cheque that made Tuesday special.
People who shopped at the market in December were able to purchase grocery bundles that could then be donated to local food banks. As of the week before Christmas, a total of 8,000 pounds of food have been given back to charities in B.C. — a number that equates to almost $30,000.
“Because of the nature what (Nature’s Fare Markets) sell, it also helps us with our special dietary needs,” he said. “We get a lot of things that are gluten-free for people that can’t have gluten. That’s a good source for us.”
In December, Madsen told the Western News that the Salvation Army in Penticton was in “desperate need” of more volunteers. And each Christmas, the demand for more volunteers grows.
With the cash donation on Tuesday, however, the not-for-profit organization is set up to better serve the community for a period of time beyond Christmas.
“We’re actually raising funds for our whole year operations,” explained Madsen. “This is not just for the Christmas season, this is the money that helps us survive and helps us to do what we need to do throughout the year.
“The need doesn’t diminish (after Christmas). We’re here 365 days a year.”