David Purdon of the Central Okanagan Food Bank is hoping the upcoming B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Food Bank will help fill the shelves of the warehouse at the new Kelowna Food Bank building on Enterprise Way.—Image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Big annual B.C.-wide food bank food drive coming up

Preparations are underway for the seventh annual B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Food Bank.

The Central Okanagan Food Bank says too many people in B.C. spend the day without enough to eat then go to bed hungry.

So, once again, it’s joining one of the largest food drives in B.C., the seventh annual B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Food Bank. The drive is scheduled for Sept. 12 to 16.

According to Gordon Oliver, a spokesman for the drive in the Central Okanagan, more than 100,000 pounds of food was collected here during the food drive last year.

And the need for that kind of reaction is definitely there, he said. Recent statistics show more than 7,000 pounds of food is needed daily just at the Kelowna Food Bank to help address current needs.

“I was shocked when I heard that,” said Oliver.

He said a few days before the start of the food drive, hundreds of volunteers will distribute bags and notices about the drive to as many front doors across the Central Okanagan as possible. Residents are asked to fill the bags and leave them out, on their porches, for collection before 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 16.

In addition to the Kelowna and West Kelowna food banks, the food banks in Lake Country and Peachland will also benefit from the food drive this year.

New this year will be two additional ways of donating during the food drive.

Oliver said because not all doors can be reached across the community, donation drop-off spots will be set up this year at grocery stores during the campaign for those who want to give, but who do not get a bag hung on their front door.

The B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive is also setting up a “virtual” donation opportunity on the Central Okanagan Food Bank’s website. There, donors will be able to select items for a grocery hamper and make a financial donation to pay for the selected items. The food bank will then go out and get the items for the donation.

Oliver said while the feature will start with the upcoming food drive but will remain on the site after the campaign ends to allow an ongoing way of making donations to help feed the hungry in the Central Okanagan.