Despite losing their friendly challenge with the Lake Country Food Bank, Nicola Valley Food Bank staff and volunteers are still smiling, with over 7000 smile cookies sold at Merritt’s Tim Hortons in support of the local food bank. 

The Smile Cookie program has been running for more than 25 years, and last year raised over $15 million nationwide. All proceeds from smile cookie sales go directly to over 600 local charities and community groups, including Merritt’s food bank. 

Local cookie sales go directly to local causes, and this year Merrittonians bought 7014 cookies and 80 ‘personality pins,’ which depict a smile cookie making a number of different faces. While the total value of the sales is still being calculated, all proceeds from this year’s campaign will directly benefit the food bank, which looks to expand operations amidst a spike in demand for its services. 

“The Nicola Valley Food Bank would like thank all of the patrons who supported the Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Campaign,” said the food bank in a social media post. 

“We were challenged by Lake Country Food Bank, and the numbers show that combined the two locations in Lake Country outsold our Merritt location. Great job to all the employees for taking on the extra work to make this event such a successful one! Congratulations to our friends at Lake Country!”

The Nicola Valley and Lake Country Food Banks entered into a friendly challenge at the beginning of this year’s campaign, with the loser having to wear the branded shirt of the other food bank for a photo. While the Nicola Valley Food Bank will soon be posing for their picture in Lake Country red shirts, they’ll undoubtedly have smiles on their faces.