Annual Penticton Thanksgiving Food Drive is underway

Annual food drive underway

Penticton's annual Thanksgiving Food Drive is underway, hoping for community support to make sure every local family has enough to eat during the upcoming season.

The food drive, which supports the Salvation Army Food Bank in Penticton, sees dozens of volunteers come together every year to drop off printed paper donation bags to as many homes in Penticton as possible ahead of pickup day.

This year, they are already busy dropping bags off at homes, up until Sept. 21. The process makes it easy for donors — simply fill the bag with non-perishable food items and leave it on the front stoop on Saturday, Sept. 23.

Then, volunteers will pick up the bags and bring them to the food bank for sorting and distribution.

In addition to offering home bag deliveries, volunteers will be handing bags out on Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at most local Penticton grocery stores so shoppers can purchase the food and hand back filled bags as they leave the store.

"This will make it even easier for donors who shop on Saturday to participate," a news release from the organization explains.

"Last year six tons of food were collected in Penticton, with a whopping 337 tons collected in over 85 communities across the province. Over 21,800 volunteer hours were recorded in support of the drive with volunteers spanning the entire demographic spectrum."

This year, need is ever-increasing, so the group hopes to surpass their previous records.

"We know that a great many in the community are struggling more than ever as inflationary pressures have pushed many to the brink who were already having a tough time making ends meet even before food prices sky-rocketed," said Mike Keith, organizer of this year's drive.

"We are sincerely hoping that those who can spare even a little bit will find it in their hearts to help those who are experiencing short-term challenges feeding their family."

Anyone willing to do a bag drop off or collection route, or particularly anyone who lives in a strata or apartment building willing to share the bags with their neighbours, can email Keith at [email protected] to find out more about how to get involved.

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