Food bank introduces community challenge

The Golden Food Bank has a challenge for our community. The organization is asking business and individuals to consider growing an occasional donation to a regular donation. They’re calling it the “Community Food Drive” and launching the idea in conjunction with Hunger Awareness Day, which takes place across the country on May 31.

The Golden Food Bank has a challenge for our community. The organization is asking business and individuals to consider growing an occasional donation to a regular donation. They’re calling it the “Community Food Drive” and launching the idea in conjunction with Hunger Awareness Day, which takes place across the country on May 31.

“The idea is to achieve some level of regular income so we’re not always wondering where our next dollar is going to come from,” said Debra Aumond, Golden Food Bank Coordinator.

Aumond explained that the food bank is neither funded by the provincial or the federal government and relies on grants and donations from the community.

“Basically, we’re asking people to think locally, to ask themselves what they can do within their means,” said Aumond.

Several businesses in town have already taken on this initiative and are making regular donations or undertaking fundraising on behalf of the food bank.  Bizarre Entertainment donates proceeds from weekly documentary film nights and staff at Falkins Insurance contribute a loonie every Friday for the privilege of wearing jeans to work.

Aumond explained that restaurants could offer one item on their menu for which they donate a percentage or all of the cost, or they could donate proceeds of coffee sales for one day per month. Employees could consent to having $1 per pay cheque donated to the food bank or donate the cost of one lunch or a coffee out per month.

“Businesses can get as creative as they want and fundraising initiatives can be big or small,” said Aumond.

Trevor Hamre, owner of Bizarre and former food bank board member, said the Golden Food Bank has been trying to find ways to create a more sustainable organization for years. With more need from the community and less money coming in, it definitely has been a challenge.

When Hamre started his business just over a year ago he knew he had an opportunity to regularly donate to the food bank—thus the Sunday night documentary night at Bizarre, where all proceeds from the $5 entry go to the food bank.

“We need to ensure that the whole community is provided for, otherwise, we’re doing some wrong,” said Hamre.

Individuals will also have an opportunity to donate by taking part in the food banks’ annual food drive.  Much like last year reusable green bags will be left on doors of homes on May 28th for residents to fill with non perishable food items.   The bags of food can be left on doorsteps for pick up the following Saturday June 4th.  Individuals are also encouraged to think make a regular contribution by purchasing $2 food bank coupons or purchasing gift cards at Overwaitea during a weekly or monthly shopping trip. Food items can also be donated in the drop off bins in the community grocery stores.   Volunteering at the Food Bank is another way to help out as there are a variety of jobs that always need to be done.

Donations of non perishable food can be dropped off at the food bank (#102 1115 9th St. S)  Mondays 1:30-3:30PM and Tuesdays and Wednesday 9:30AM-12:30PM.  For more information on Hunger Awareness Day and ways that you can help visit www.hungerawarenessday.ca or call the food bank at 250-344-2113.