EDITORIAL: Food for thought

South Okanagan charities offering a multitude of ways to give back to the community.

It’s the most important meal of the day and Wednesday there is no better reason to make sure you get your fill.

From 6:30 to 9 a.m. the main entrance of the Penticton Lakeside Resort will act as a drive thru for the kickoff of the United Way of the Central and South Okanagan campaign. For a donation, guests will receive one of 850 special breakfast bags, containing items valued at over $100.

The United Way has served the Central and South Okanagan for over 60 years, investing in positive community impact to help move people out of poverty, improve access to social and health-related services and assist children with learning and development programs.

But, it isn’t the only way to give back to the community for those who need it most. Next week Loco Landing will team up with the Penticton Western News to offer families to take a swing for charity on Sept. 17. In exchange for a donation of food or money families can mini golf for free.

As well, from Sept. 13 to 20, the B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive takes place in the South Okanagan and across the province. Proceeds from this will benefit local Salvation Army Food Banks. The goal is to drop a food bag at every residence in the city on Sept. 17 outlying areas will receive a bag in the mail. About 12,000 of these bags, donated by Marketplace IGA, will have a flyer instructing people as to the kinds of food the Salvation Army Food Bank needs most.

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Vital Signs report states the Penticton Food Bank was used over 14,000 times in 2012. This is up nine per cent from 2011. The same report, which gathered information from a survey of residents, gave the South Okanagan a D+ grade on the gap between the rich and poor.

Hunger and essential needs to live know no boundaries — many people are one decision or major life event away from needing assistance. Food banks can only give what they have on the shelves and demand almost always exceeds supply. If you don’t have the resources to donate to any of these events, volunteering at these events or for these organizations can be just as valuable.