Food banks across the province are hoping to restock their shelves during the upcoming B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive.
The Friends In Need Food Bank in Maple Ridge is hoping to do the same during the sixth annual campaign.
“As the summer ends, we are more in need of food than ever. The food drive will generate here locally well over 10,000 pounds of food, which we are going to be able to use leading up to Christmas,” said Chuck Griffith, operations and logistics supervisor with the local food bank.
Province-wide, the Thanksgiving food drive is expected to generate over 400,000 pounds of non-perishable food items.
Locally, Griffith is hoping to raise 12,000 pounds of food.
On Sept. 9, volunteers will be placing plastic bags on doorsteps across the community to be picked up, hopefully full, a week later on Sept. 16.
The bags of food will be brought to a collection place, weighed, boxed up and brought to the food bank
“It takes a massive amount of people to do it. It’s really an army of volunteers,” said Griffith.
“It takes about five hours for everybody to do the magic. But when it is all said and done, it’s an incredible gift to the food bank,” he added.
Locally, there will be close to 60 volunteers taking part in the event in various capacities, either dropping off the bags, picking up the food, packaging it or helping Griffith at the food bank.
Griffith is reminding people to check the expiry dates on their non-perishable items before donating so it is something they can use.
Some of the most important food items the food bank is looking to get is Kraft dinner, canned fruit, canned tuna, canned vegetables, chili, ravioli, tomato sauce and tomato paste.
The Knights of Columbus will also be helping out at the Save On Foods at 240th Street and Dewdney Trunk Road, where they will be stationed outside on Sept. 16 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m to collect both food and cash donations.
Griffith says that although it looks like there is a lot of food at the food bank, the amount stored wouldn’t last more than a month with the number of people it is feeding.
“This food drive really is a boost to us at a time when we really need to make sure we are covering the school’s that are going back into session. Kids are going to be hungry so we need to make sure so the kids have food so they can learn,” said Griffith.
“That’s really what this food drive does for us is it really helps us take care of the kids and the families that we support each and every week,” he said.
Bags should be placed ready for pick up on your doorstep by 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 16.