'People Helping Pantries' food drive this weekend in Penticton

Help fill empty hampers

As winter weather approaches, local businesses are teaming up and looking for help from the community to gather funds and food to help the needy this Thanksgiving weekend.

Total Restoration and Kettle Valley Memorial are volunteering to help the Penticton Eagles host their yearly "People Helping Pantries" food drive, in support of Keep the Cold Off Penticton's ongoing low-barrier food hamper program.

Keep the Cold Off has been doing outreach on Penticton's streets for many years and recently launched their hampers, under the name "Fill the Food Gap Penticton," in order to help other members of the community who may be hungry.

They serve anyone in need, including single parents, families and seniors, running Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on an as-needed basis.

Food and grocery gift cards are delivered or picked up as arranged, and volunteers cater the hamper contents to the needs of the person or people receiving them.

And as though the hamper program wasn't keeping the volunteers busy enough, they also do nightly outreach to make sure the homeless and displaced community members of Penticton are fed and clothed.

"The weather has turned cold again especially at night and entering fall the days are shorter, colder and a lot more wet. Even with the temperatures we are having at night now, being wet and with windchill those living outside could get hypothermia," Keep the Cold Off organizers Mike, Kristyn and Cherith said.

"Our crew has been doing a lot behind the scenes getting ready for this upcoming season, which has included being present in a lot of events to educate others, train on nasal Naloxone use and just getting our name out and letting others know what we do."

On Saturday, Oct. 9, you can help support Keep the Cold Off's work by dropping off a donation to their hamper program. Between 11 and 3 p.m., drop off non-perishable food items at the Eagles parking lot at 1197 Main Street.

Most needed items are:

  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Canned goods
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Crackers
  • Cookies
  • Peanut butter
  • Canned tuna / Salmon

Organizers will also have a cash donation bin available. All items will be dropped off to Keep the Cold Off to make sure everyone in the community is fed this holiday weekend.

And the need extends beyond Thanksgiving — Keep the Cold Off is always grateful to accept donations of non-perishables, as well as warm clothing and footwear, unopened hygiene products, flashlights and candles, backpacks and bags, and more.

For more information on Keep the Cold Off and their hamper program, either to donate or inquire about receiving a hamper, text Cherith at 250-462-9587 or send a message to their Facebook group here.

More Penticton News