As Thanksgiving nears, an annual campaign – now in its 10th year – is gearing up to make sure people don’t go hungry during the holiday weekend, and as far into the upcoming year as possible.
The BC Thanksgiving Food Drive (BCTFD) is a province-wide initiative that brings together more than 50 food banks in an effort to stock local shelves with non-perishable food items.
Scott Friesen, BCTFD Langley community coordinator, said after a successful drive last fall, the goal for the 2019 drive – happening Saturday, Sept. 21 – is high, but certainly achievable.
“Almost since it’s beginning, this is the largest single day of food donation – province wide, 526,000 pounds of food was raised last year,” Friesen said. “The goal this year is to surpass that and get 600,000 pounds.”
BCTFD begins with bag distribution; teams of volunteers will deliver thousands of bags to Langley and Cloverdale homes over the next week in an attempt to provide an easy donation process.
“People may receive bags as early as this week, if not Monday next [Sept. 16]. People may find it on their doorstep or mail slot… typically they’re tied to the front door handle,” Friesen explained.
On the day of the drive, Sept. 21, the filled donation bags are to be left on front doorsteps where it will be collected by food bank volunteers.
“The reason this food drive has done so well is residents receive this donation bag and most of the food comes from their home; all of it non-perishable foods…typically boxed foods or pastas,” Friesen added.
Walnut Grove and Willoughby will be some areas heavily covered with donation bags. Friesen said areas like South Langley are too spread out to properly cover while most apartment complexes are troublesome to distribute inside.
A collection site location for Langley and Cloverdale residents will also be held on drive day in the parking lot of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (20370 82 Ave).
“Volunteers will be setting up around 9 a.m. that morning,” Friesen said. “People can drop off between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Since it’s the 10th year, we’ll also have a fire truck, pony rides, and a cake cutting.”
For more information on BCTFD, people can visit www.bcfooddrive.org.
“There is an awful lot of talk at Christmas for donations and generosity, but other times of the year can be forgotten. This is meant to fill food banks up prior to Thanksgiving weekend,” Friesen said.
“To put that in a local perspective, last year, Sources and Langley Food Bank had food on their shelves from Thanksgiving until the end of February.”
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