The 10th annual BC Thanksgiving Food Drive is underway in Penticton and as the Sept. 30 deadline approaches, donations are needed now more than ever.
As many struggle with the financial impacts of COVID-19, the food bank is actively searching for as many donations as it can muster.
This year monetary donations have taken priority over food donations as the logistics of donating money is easier than food with COVID-19 precautions.
Due to risks associated with food items passing through multiple hands, organizers will simply put flyers on the doors of Penticton homes. The flyers provide directions on how to give financial donations or for donors to deliver food themselves to the food bank’s 2399 South Main St. location.
All donations are welcome, however, financial donations may be more effective.
Dan Kane, chairperson of the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive, explained the food bank is able to purchase food with donated money at a heavily discounted rate. Every dollar donated translates into approximately three dollars worth of food.
Commanding officer of the Salvation Army South Okanagan, Major Paul Trickett said the food bank is an integral part of the community. Many people rely on it in times of need and even more-so this year due to COVID-19. Trickett said the food bank currently serves over 100 people per day and he expects that number to grow as government support programs come to an end.
Trickett said he is very thankful for the people in the community who make donations to the food bank.
“Praise God that people are able to give still,” he said.
Trickett said people are often surprised at the amount of people who use the food bank’s services.
“It may be your neighbour, it may be your cousin, it may be your friend, it might be the guy you sit beside at work who got laid off last month,” said Trickett. “Those of us that can give… we have to because there’s going to be a greater need.”
Without the food bank, Trickett says he believes the community would be in much worse shape. Having travelled the world, Trickett has seen the effects hunger can have on a community and what it can drive people to do. He says it’s not pretty. “We do not want people to be forced to decide between paying their hydro and eating,” he said.
Donors can give money online at pentictonsa.ca/give. Donations will be accepted until Sept. 30.