Penticton and Summerland come through for Thanksgiving food drive

Over 7,000 pounds of food was collected in the Penticton area for the B.C. Thanksgiving food drive.

Joey Cyr of the Penticton Salvation Army with a full bag of food that was filled in advance of last year's 10

Over 7,000 pounds of food was collected in the Penticton area for the B.C. Thanksgiving food drive.

“The tremendous network of diverse groups working together — good people, shoulder to shoulder — was as impressive as the commodities collected. It was beautiful,” said Jonathan Sevy, Penticton and Summerland BCTFD chairman.

Volunteers in Penticton and Summerland adopted 30 routes, donating 523 volunteer hours, to visit an estimated 10,000 homes and 1,000 apartments on Sept. 17 to gather donations. Penticton donated 7,062 pounds and 1,865 pounds of food was collected in Summerland/Trout Creek.

“We are extremely grateful to the community. Without participants and sponsors for these events we could not continue our efforts to help the needy help themselves,” said Salvation Army Captain Tim Leslie. “This drive is the first and the largest of the year. It gets us started in the beginning of the cold season.”

Nearly 20 community partners co-operated in the annual food drive this year. Residents in five local retirement homes prepared 12,000 donation bags that were donated by Summerland and Penticton IGA Marketplace stores. Holy Cross Catholic School, four local churches and Penticton Scouts Canada families picked up donations. A number of food bank recipients and other independent volunteers also lent a hand. The Kiwanis Club of Penticton and South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society were two other important partners.