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Volunteers collect huge amount of food during Thanksgiving drive in Cowichan

Thanksgiving Food Drive is annual success story
Cody Smith is just one of the many volunteers working with the food collected as part of the Thanksgiving Food Drive on gathering day, Sept. 14. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

The annual Thanksgiving Food Drive for the Cowichan Food Basket wound up Saturday, Sept. 14 with a big collection/ sorting day and a corn roast for volunteers.

Shopping bags went out to more than 6,000 residences over a three-day push as volunteers covered 44 routes around the Cowichan Valley, according to Carol Stiles, publicist for the event.

“People got a bag left on their door knob with a flyer attached to it explaining about the food drive. Then, they filled it up with non-perishable food, and then, on Sept. 14, we went back and collected it all. It’s brought to one central location. This is one of the biggest local food drives in the Valley,” she said. “It collects enough to last us till Christmas.”

By the end of the day Saturday, she was delightedly thanking the residents of the Cowichan Valley, “who have overwhelmingly supported the local edition of the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive by donating food to stock the shelves of our Food Bank.

“We also wish to thank the over 250 volunteers providing over 700 hours of service to the community. Without our volunteers this wonderful project would not happen. They were able to visit over 6,000 homes in Duncan, Cowichan Bay, Shawnigan Lake, and Mill Bay and collected almost 12,000 pounds of non-perishable food for the Cowichan Valley Basket Society, Lake Cowichan Food Bank, and the Mill Bay Food Bank, which will feed the hungry in our valley with food for the next few months.”

This province-wide annual project, now in its 10th year, collected more than 500,000 pounds of food for the more than 50 community food banks in their local areas in the past.

Colleen Fuller, the food bank director from the Cowichan Valley Basket Society was thrilled at receiving the much-needed contributions from the community and the support of every individual involved.

“We had two full cube trucks of food with lots of variety and the individual bags collected were full to the brim. It was fabulous! The people who need this food desperately will greatly welcome this donation,” she said.

The local event in Duncan was sponsored by several organizations: MNP Accounting Services, Cobble Hill Country Grocer, Save on Foods, OGW Medical Support Services, Artline Closets, Great Canadian Super Store, Island Savings, Duncan Daybreak Rotary Club, Duncan Rotary Club, Old Farm Market.