The BC Thanksgiving Food Drive which took place last week, has ended up breaking last year’s record in food collection in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
According to Friends in Need Food Bank’s Mary Robson, the food drive which was held on Sept. 25, ended up collecting 16,975 lbs. of food, up from last year’s 15,680 lbs, which itself was a record last year. The event saw several volunteers, including recently re-elected MP Marc Dalton, who were present to help with the food drive.
“It was a perfect day, we had a really good team of volunteers, and went very well. We set a new record with the food donated at Save On Foods,” she said.
This year, Save On Foods had partnered with the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive, and customers were able to make a donation of food or money at any of the Save On Food stores. While the monetary donations collected at the grocery stores is yet to be calculated, the food donations were quite generous, she said.
“If there were more volunteers for the drive, the organizers would have been able to cover more routes. But still, we had a great number of donations with just half the routes covered,” said Robson.
The food bank is now in the process of sorting the donated food, checking for perishables, expiry dates, etc. One of the donations was a couple of blocks of cheese that melted by the time the drive was completed. This is one of the reasons why the drive only asks for non-perishable, packaged and non-expired food.
“Our volunteers are already finding expired cans in the donations and that is really disheartening for them,” Robson said. “We give away food we can’t give to people, to the farmers so it doesn’t get wasted but whatever isn’t of any use to the farmers, goes to the landfill.”
Robson also said that when they have more food than they need, they share it with other organizations in the community such as the Salvation Army, Seniors, Meals on Wheels, etc.
She is hopeful that other organizations who were doing food drives in the past, look at the success of their food drive and are inspired to re-start their drives.
“I hope they can see that it is possible to do a food drive in a COVID-safe manner, and I hope to see more drives this year than the last,” she said.
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