If you see a plastic bag with a notice reading ‘BC Thanksgiving Food Drive’ laying on your front doorstep or tied to your front doorknob next week, think twice about discarding it.
The bags, which will be delivered to households throughout B.C. from Sept. 11 to 13, can be filled with non-perishables to feed the province’s hungry in the lead-up to Thanksgiving.
People are urged to help out by placing unopened, non-perishable food items into the grocery bags and then placing them on their front doorsteps before 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, within sight from their street.
The contributions will be picked up by volunteers and then delivered to local food banks, which each month feed more than 100,000 people across B.C.
Local volunteer coordinator Scott Friesen said province-wide last year, more than 475,000 pounds of food was collected by more than 5,000 volunteers.
Friesen added that 10 to 20 per cent of people who received a bag donate food to the campaign.
“This has become the largest single-day food drive in the province,” Friesen said. “Our goal this year is 600,000 pounds, province-wide.”
Volunteers from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley (BBBSL) will be dropping off bags to local households.
BBBSL’s Roslyn Henderson said the association, along with a “huge group of volunteers” from Vancity, will drop off bags.
“Some of our families (and) a lot of people who use it (the food bank) themselves are looking to find a way to help others,” Henderson said.
Friesen said Big Brothers Big Sisters is the single largest group of volunteers this year.
“They’re taking more routes than any of our other sponsors, this year,” Friesen said.
Friesen hopes people will be generous.
“No. 1, there are fears of legitimacy,” he said. “This is a legitimate donating effort. The reason we are focusing on Thanksgiving is, often there is a big push at Christmastime but this is another time of the year that we want people to have enough food.”
Items most needed are canned meat and fish, canned fruit and vegetables, canned pasta sauce, and peanut butter.