The holiday spirit is in the air in the Nicola Valley, and those at Bass Coast are in the giving mood.

The festival recently donated $26,000 to the Nicola Valley Food Bank, to help keep Merritt families fed during the cold winter months.

“This donation will help us get closer to our dreams of having a new facility where we can meet and greet our clients with respect and dignity, educate and support in a broader way throughout our community. ” said Derlanda Hewton, general manager of the Nicola Valley Food Bank. “Donations like this helps us keep our shelves stocked so we can always have a source of nutritional groceries that we can give out to our neighbours and friends who are facing food insecurity in these difficult times, especially seniors, children, and those who are having medical issues.”

With grocery prices soaring, more and more families across the province have had to turn to food banks in recent years. In the Nicola Valley, the food bank has provided assistance for approximately 14,000 people in the past calendar year, an increase of 192 per cent over the previous year.

Bass Coast Production Manager Anna Hilliar said that the donation is a “small token of our gratitude” for the Merritt community.

“Merritt has welcomed Bass Coast with open arms.”

Now in its sixteenth year, the Bass Coast festival moved to Merritt from Squamish in 2013. This year’s event takes place July 12-15, 2024, with tickets available at www.basscoast.ca.