Gordon Oliver of the B.C Thanksgiving Food Drive speak about the upcoming collection as (left to right) Central Okanagan Food Bank executive director Lenetta Parry, and the mayors of Kelowna and West Kelowna, Colin Basran and Doug Findlater look on.—Image credit: Alistair Waters/Capital News

Flooding and fires put Central Okanagan food bank donations ‘way behind’

The Central Okanagan Food Bank in Kelowna has collected half as much food as normal this summer.

This summer’s floods and fires in the Central Okanagan have had a dramatic impact on donations to the local food bank.

According to Lenetta Parry, executive director of the Central Okanagan Food Bank, during a typical summer her organization collects about 200,000 pounds of food to be distributed in Kelowna and West Kelowna to those in need. But this summer, that number has plummeted to about 100,000 pounds.

And the biggest reason, according to Parry, is the recent series of local disasters.

“So this year there’s an added sense of emergency,” said Parry, announcing the seventh annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, slated to take place across B.C., including in the Central Okanagan, Sept. 11 to 16.

“As you know, this year our area has been affected by fires and flooding. So our team has been aiding evacuees, working with other food banks to make sure resources are where they’re needed and supporting local agencies in their fire and flood relief efforts.”

As a result, she said, the food bank is “way behind” in food donation collections.

As a result, instead of the usual 50,000 pounds of food that the annual B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive collects in this area each September, a “lofty” goal of 150,000 pounds of food has been set.

“There is a real need out there,” said Gordon Oliver, spokesman for the food drive.

That message was echoed by the mayors of Kelowna and West Kelowna, who were on hand to help support the upcoming food drive.

Both Colin Basran and Doug Findlater praised the work of the local food bank, noting the staggering need and how easy it will be to donate food items during the food drive.

From Sept. 11 to 15, an army of volunteers will fan out across the two cities, and leave bags on front doors with information attached about the drive, the most needed food items and instructions about how to participate.

Residents are asked to put non-perishable food items in the bags and rehang the bags on their doors. On Sept. 16, the volunteers will return and collect the filed bags.

This year, to help people in multi-family buildings and gated communities participate, special drop-off locations will be set up at the Save-On Foods store in Orchard Plaza and at the Costco store in Kelowna, as well as at the West Kelowna Save-On Foods store in Westbank.

In addition, leading up to the Sept. 16 collection, volunteers at the Kelowna food bank’s Ellis Street depot and the West Kelowna depot on Churchill Road in Westbank will also accept donations for the Thanksgiving Food Drive.

All the food collected in each community will stay in the community where it was donated.

Just Posted

Dine Around Thompson Okanagan set to kick off

Popular event kicks off in Kelowna with a sold out launch party

Kelowna’s Capri-Landmark plan could carry big price-tag

City council told the ‘preferred’ concept plan could cost as much as $100 million over next 22 years

Okanagan nurse assists Rohingya refugees

Crystal Grymaloski volunteers with Samaritan’s Purse disaster response mission in Bangladesh

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

West Kelowna council to debate its 2018 budget

Going into the day-long meeting, the proposed budget calls for a three per cent tax increase

Kelowna artist creates fundraiser for a friend

Artist Laurie Koss was inspired by her friend’s cancer battle to help her keep fighting

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag for Canada at 2018 Olympics

The pair earned a gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

Most Read