Submitted by the Columbia Valley Food Bank

For over 20 years, the Columbia Valley Food Bank has been serving the Columbia Valley from Spillimacheen to Canal Flats. We serve many clients every week, of all ages and all walks of life. 

 Our primary concern is making sure we have enough nutritious food to meet the growing need – both today and for the foreseeable future. You can help ensure the safety net is there for those who may be facing food insecurity, perhaps for the first time. Just as COVID-19 has changed the world, we’ve changed the way we’re feeding our community. Our community partners, our regular donors and staff have really stepped up to ensure all our clients have enough to eat during this unprecedented crisis. However, we cannot continue this support without you! 

 Here are some key things to consider if you are looking to support our local food bank effectively. 

With the December Loblaw’s Holiday campaign Joe’s No Frills raised $2,252.67 in donations and 3,100 pounds of food. Additionally, there was also a Loblaw’s Spring Campaign that ran from March 18 through April 4.“The giant cart fills up so rapidly that it requires volunteers to collect the donations twice a week. Much of what is donated is from the store itself- Joe (manager), Danny (assistant manager) and Sherry continually have the Food Bank in mind as they fill the cart with items from their inventory. Our Food Bank is so very fortunate to have this support!” said Nesta Becker, chairperson of the CVFB.
Left to right: Danny Gillies (assistant manager) Nesta Becker, (chairperson CVFB) and Lucy (cashier). Submitted photo

 Donate time & talent

Volunteers are critical at almost any food bank. Every role, whether it is working in the warehouse sorting food, organizing a special event, or volunteering pro bono, is an important way to help those in need. 

 Make a financial donatation

Giving money to a food bank covers the costs of the necessities that donated items fall short on. Plus, when you make a financial donation to your local food bank, the gift is tax-deductible for you. The food bank can then strategically decide what they do with the cash and how far to stretch it. The Columbia Valley Food Bank, for example, can stretch a $1 donation to $3. 

 Donate personal items

Personal hygiene items are always welcome. These items may include: shampoo, lotions, soap, toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine hygiene products, deodorant, laundry detergent. 

 These are all products that are high in demand at most food banks and are not routinely purchased. 

 Donate in kind

Donations of goods like office space, roadworthy vehicles, office equipment are significant contributions that will lower operating costs for a food bank. Additionally, professional legal or financial services will also make a substantial impact. We invite you to contact us to see how these donations could be tax deductible.

Visit our website regularly 

Under our ‘DONATION’ page, we have an updated list of items that are required and not required. As well, you can also donate online or give monthly donations right from our website. 

Invermere Sobeys had a successful campaign from Dec. 3 to Dec. 26, with the sale of $3,200 worth of canned goods and pasta. The campaign continued until February, adding $3,400 to the donation. Columbia Valley Food Bank received all donations. “Everyone in the store was very passionate about the cause, especially because they knew all proceeds earned came back to our local Food Bank. Our front end cashiers were really the group that got behind this Campaign with Krys and Amanda leading the way, and of course, our customers, locals and non-locals alike all made it happen with their generous donations, again knowing that it was coming back to the place they love to be,” said Ric Lockhart, new co-owner of Invermere Sobeys.
Left to right: Dawn Attorp (board member and weekly bin collector CVFB) Nesta Becker (chairperson CVFB), Jennifer Lockhart (Sobeys co-owner), Lawrie Mack (vice chair and former chairperson CVFB) Amanda McLaughlin (store fundraising quarter back), Krys Borek (the top fund raiser for this campaign) and Ric Lockhart (Sobeys co-owner).

Host a fundraiser

 Rally your networks to support your local food bank by hosting a fundraiser! Get creative by hosting a used book sale, a bake sale, organize a ‘causal dress day’ at work and solicit donations for the cost of wearing your, favourite jeans, organize a car wash, host a golf tournament 


One of the driving factors for food bank use is poverty, which is a result of economic distributions, low incomes, and government policies that don’t provide adequate support, according to Food Banks Canada. 

 Let’s all vote to support people out of poverty. Let’s drive down the number of people turning to food banks across the country, and together let’s move toward changing government policies. 

 Your generosity is what enables the CVFB to continue to provide our services to people in the community whose circumstances dictate the need for additional support to improve their lives. 

On behalf of the Columbia Valley Food Bank, we thank you!