Penticton got breakfast and gave back on Thursday morning as a part of the 11th annual South Okanagan Drive-Thru Breakfast.
Local businesses and emergency services came by to help volunteer at the drive-thru, handing out goodies and collecting donations. Local MP Richard Cannings and NDP leader Jagmeet Singh, who’s in town for a meet and greet with party supporters, also volunteered their time.
This year's fundraiser focused on collecting funds for community food security initiatives. One of the multiple community food security initiatives this year's event will support is the Food Infrastructure Grand program, a partnership between United Way BC and the Ministry of Health.
“This money in particular this year is supporting food initiatives here in the Penticton and lower Similkameen region. We know through the pandemic and the global crisis that we're kind of under right now, that food security has become a real issue,” said Kris Gibson, United Way provincial director for corporate relations.
“We know that a lot of people are having to make hard choices these days, whether it's for rent or food, or what have you and choices people shouldn't have to make.”
From 6:30 to 9 a.m., drive-thru guests continued to come through the Penticton Lakeside Resort, which donated the hot breakfasts and event planning and donating prizes for the event.
“The United Way is special to us. And important because the funds raised, we see them go directly back into the community,” said Brannigan Mosses, general manager of the Penticton Lakeside Resort and Conference Centre.
“I think for every community right now, food insecurity has been a big one. And so hearing just some of the actual facts and figures from the United Way is difficult to digest. But I think it's important to be educational about it. We see it all around us.”
The hope was to raise close to $30,000 on Thursday.
“This effort is all about bringing as many dollars and awareness that we can so that we can support local communities, particularly those that are rural and remote and a little more disconnected,” Gibson said.
“I think that the component of breakfast to this is just kind of goes hand in hand and ties in that hitting the home that you just need to support and help those that you don't just don't even have access to a meal in a day,” Mosses added.
By the time the drive-thru was wrapping up at 9 a.m. the organization had raised over $20,000, with a full total to come later today.
Gibson said what makes the event great every year is the community.
“We bring out so many people from the community both in terms of volunteers, people driving through, our amazing sponsors, everybody's here,” he said. “So bringing all these partners together and really creating that awareness ensures that United Way can continue to invest locally.”
To get involved in United Way and find more information about their organization, visit their website here.