A Year in the life of the Columbia Valley Food Bank

Foood for Thought

As the end of 2017 looms, we felt it would be appropriate to review how we came to receive thousands of pounds of food and an estimated $60K in donations from generous individuals and businesses in the Valley.

In spite of the first 3 months generally being the slowest time of the year in terms of donations, 2017 started well with the annual New Year’s event at Fairmont raising cash and many boxes of food. The donation bins located at Sobeys, Valley Foods, Joe’s NoFrills, Red Apple, and the Radium Market continued to provide supplies for us all year thanks to these merchants.

Spring and summer are when activities began to really pick up for the Food Bank. The Canada Day Parade kicked off July, followed by a barbeque hosted by Home Hardware, Eagle Ranch’s Movie Night, NoFrills’ Pay Forward campaign, and Copper Point Golf Course’s 5-month long weekday offer of reduced green fees for Food Bank donations. We also received very generous donations from Alliance Church, R. Brett Wilson and family, Rockies Law, the Windermere Lake Lions Club and Bob Friessen, who, when moving out of the Valley, donated all the food left in his cupboards and freezers! The Invermere Rotary Club and Hopkins’ Harvest also provided us with fresh goods to distribute. Former MLA Norm MacDonald provided us with a file cabinet and chair upon his retirement.

September brought the fantastic Radium Show and Shine event, hosted by the Columbia Valley Classic Car Club, and one of our biggest donation days. Red Apple hosted a Food Drive in conjunction with Hunger week in October, and that month also saw the return of The Rocky River Grill “Feed the Valley” Thanksgiving extravaganza.

Our truck next appeared at the Snow Ball Drop in November, parked right across from Inspire Floral Boutique who had their annual “Fill the Sleigh” running to raise money and food. December began with Copper Point Golf’s “Feed the Town” turkey feast, and still to come are the arrival of the CP Holiday Train in Radium, Sobeys Holiday Food Drive and Double Your Air Miles events, Valley Foods’ Purchase a Food Bank Package, and Joe’s NoFrills’ National Food Drive.

Along the way, we’ve also had many individuals who have dropped vegetables and fruit, canned goods, toiletries, and cash off to us, including a number of youngsters who have requested that their friends bring an item for the Food Bank to their birthday celebrations. Local schools, churches, and pre-schools have held collections on our behalf.

This is the time of year to give thanks, and we are humbled by the generosity of all the individuals, families, and businesses in the Valley who allow us to move forward in achieving our mission of “providing healthy food to individuals and families from Spillimacheen to Canal Flats”. Thanks to all of you.

We must also acknowledge those whose ongoing support lets us do our work: the District of Invermere, the Invermere Library, the local RCMP, Konig’s, Valley Foods, the Pioneer and Kicking Horse Coffee, CBC, CIBC, Subway, and Kootenay Savings for their campaigns.

We must also thank our many wonderful volunteers. Our Volunteer Appreciation nod goes to Elder Mark and Sister Diane Ebert, who serve not only in our facility but also in Golden’s, and often haul goods between the two. We shall miss you when you return to Utah. Also thanks to Helen Kubian for her years of work manning our phone. All the best in 2018.

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