Volunteers with the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive will be going door to door in Merritt on Sept. 15, but instead of collecting donations as they go, they’ll be leaving something behind.

Each volunteer will pound the pavement in a particular area of town to leave donation bags at houses at the beginning of next week.

Residents who receive the bag can fill it with non-perishable food items for the Nicola Valley and District Food Bank and leave it on their doorsteps on Saturday, Sept. 20 when the volunteers will come back around and pick up the donations.

Local co-ordinator Ruth Yates said about 20 volunteers are needed to cover Merritt.

“We assign the volunteers an area of town that they would like to canvass, and then they pick them up on Saturday morning,” she said.

Sorting the donations takes place at the Mormon church on Spring Bank Avenue on Saturday.

The food drive is non-denominational and anyone from the community is welcome to volunteer, Yates said.

“It’s helping a good cause and for the community, and that’s all there is to it,” she said.

Yates said all donations are appreciated, but there is no pressure.

She added that while the campaign goes to people’s doorsteps, it is not intrusive. Volunteers do not knock on doors or collect cash donations.

The food drive is primarily for non-perishable food items, but other items such as baby food, diapers, soap and laundry detergent can be distributed by the Nicola Valley and District Food Bank as well, Yates said.

Since it began in Burnaby in 2009, the campaign has spread to over 50 communities throughout the province, serving thousands of British Columbians.

Over 6,000 volunteers participated last year to collect over 400,000 pounds of food valued at approximately a million dollars.

The goal in the 2014 food drive is to collect 500,000 pounds of food.

“It is tremendous how it has grown over the last four years. People have got the message and it seems to be helping,” Yates said.

Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Yates for more information at 378-8130.