Maple Ridge realtors gearing up for food drive

Realtors are gearing up for their sixth annual food drive. - Colleen Flanagan/The News
Realtors are gearing up for their sixth annual food drive.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

Joanne Olsen, executive director with the Friends in Need Food Bank, says the shelves are traditionally bare just before the start of the Christmas season. However, help is on the way.

Coldwell Banker Tri-Tel Realty is gearing up for their sixth annual hamper drive  in support of the Friends in Food Bank.

The realtors will be heading out from Dec. 10 to 12 in an effort to help stock the shelves this holiday season. They cover the neighborhoods surrounding Riverside Centre, as well as Alouette, and Harry Hooge elementary schools over the course of three nights.

To date, they have collected more than four tons of food and $6,800 in donations.

Bonnie Telep, owner of Coldwell Banker in Maple Ridge, said her team is more than happy to do what it can for the food bank

“This is our community and we want to be able to give back what we can.”

About 15 realtors help decorate a trailer that pulls Santa through the neighbourhoods  each night.

Telep says since they blanket the neighborhoods with flyer alerts as to when they are coming, the three-night food drive has turned into an event for some families.

“It’s so nice to see young families waiting for us as we come down the street.

The kids will come out in their pajamas for a chance to see Santa and drop off their donation,” she says.

Telep says people not living in the three neighborhoods targeted by the realtors can drop off donations to Coldwell Banker Tri-Tel Realty, located at 22519 Dewdney Trunk Road during regular business hours.

She says they have also added a new twist to their collections this year in hopes of raising more money. Coldwell Banker will donate a portion of the proceeds from every home bought and sold from Nov. 15 to Dec. 25.

Olsen fundraising efforts like the one hosted by Coldwell Banker go a long way to determining just where the food bank will stand for the first half of the year.

“So much food pours in at this time of the year. We hope to get enough to last us until June,” says Olsen.

She says the food bank should also benefit from local school districts making collections this Christmas season.

Last year’s job action by teachers meant extra circular activities like food drives were cancelled.

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