Most of the customers at Jodi Quibell’s garage sale Saturday left their wallets at home.
Instead, they arrived with non-perishable food for the Kelowna Community Food Bank and left with books, clothing and other items for sale.
The third Kelowna Food for Gifts event was held in Quibell’s Glenpark Drive garage today.
Shoppers had the chance to purchase new and gently-used items by using food bank donations as currency. Most items for sale were worth one non-perishable food item donation.
Quibell said she got the idea from her sister-in-law, who has set up a “Christmas shop” in Cherryville, where kids can come from school and trade food bank items for gifts to give to their parents or siblings.
Quibell held the inaugural Food for Gifts event last December.
“Last year, just before Christmas, I got about 380 items for the food bank and $80 in cash donations,” said Quibell.
“I also did it last spring. It wasn’t as popular, but it still did really well.”
So far all the feedback regarding Food for Gifts has been positive, according to Quibell. She noted a representative of the Kelowna Community Food Bank, who picked up the donations last winter, called the concept “brilliant.”
“Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of food, (with) seven kids and a single mom. It’s very important to me that everybody in the community gets food.
“This is sort of my labour of love.”
Quibell said she doesn’t have any hard and fast rules regarding trading the food bank items for gifts; however, she said it wouldn’t be fair for someone to trade a box of macaroni for a large item, such as a table.
Thankfully, she said, she hasn’t come across anybody who’s tried to take advantage of the concept.
“Most people give a huge bag of food and take (one or two) items—they’re pretty good about that.”
Quibell said her friend is planning a Food for Gifts event in Penticton Nov. 23 at The Cannery.
She added she hopes to increase the number of Food for Gifts events each year and possibly utilize a bigger venue, such as a church, in the future.
“My husband would like his garage back,” she said, laughing.