Nicola Valley Food Bank aiming to restock shelves with Thanksgiving drive

By on September 6, 2017
The food bank has plenty of fresh food, but not enough non-perishable items, says manager Elissa Barron. (Cole Wagner/Herald).

After fires and floods battered the B.C. interior this year, local food banks stepped up to provide relief to families in need.

But all of that good will has put a strain on supply — especially at the local Nicola Valley Food Bank — which is why organizers are pinning their hopes on this year’s Thanksgiving Food Drive as a way to restock the shelves.

“You know, it’s that time of year when we’re getting all the nice fresh veggies and whatnot from people, but we also need those staples,” explained Elissa Barron, manager at the Nicola Valley Food Bank.

The B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive is an annual province-wide event with the aim of providing a boost to local food banks during a traditionally slow period for donations, said Joe Cirillo, who is helping to co-ordinate volunteers for the drive.

“We have pretty empty shelves, we’ve gone through a lot of our stock,” said Barron. Despite receiving plenty of fresh food from farms, ranches and locals in the Nicola Valley, Barron said the bank has a deficit when it comes to their supply of non-perishable items.

“It’s just that time of year that people are more so bringing in the fresh things — which are great — but we do need those non-perishable things as well. All of the things we don’t think about every day,” she said. “If we don’t have any of the fresh stuff to give out, that’s our backup.”

In particular, the food bank is in need of items like canned fruit and vegetables, soups, dry pasta, rice, bottled water and personal hygiene items, among a long list of others.

To participate in the Thanksgiving food drive, Merrittonians need only to leave a bag of unopened, non-perishable food items at their doorstep by 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 16. Drivers will circulate through town to pickup donations.

Those who want to chip in some time volunteering during the food drive can get in touch with Cirillo at 250-309-0469, or Barron at 250-378-2282.

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