Thanksgiving Food Drive begins next week in Cowichan

The goal? To get the community's help to fill the shelves of Cowichan's food banks

The Mandwe family is ready to help with next week’s BC Thanksgiving Food Drive by picking up the bags left on your front doorsteps. Even four-year-old Benji wants to help. (Submitted by Carol Stiles)

It’s never a bad time to lend a helping hand so supporters of the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive have chosen Monday Sept. 13 through Wednesday, Sept. 15 to hand out empty grocery bags to 5,000 households in the Cowichan Valley.

The goal? To get the community’s help to fill the shelves of Cowichan’s food banks.

“This year’s pandemic and economical hardships have created a much greater demand for the services of our local food banks here in the Cowichan Valley. Over half of all households that rely on food banks are families with children; half these again are headed by single parents,” said BCTFD organizer Carol Stiles. “In total, almost 40 per cent of recipients of food bank assistance are under the age of 18. Other vulnerable groups include low-wage earners, those with inadequate employment, and people on disability income assistance. Hundreds of individuals and families require assistance on a weekly basis and you can help.”

Stiles said 40 teams of volunteers will be distributing the empty grocery bags on door knobs on most subdivisions in Duncan, Cowichan Bay, and Mill Bay so look for your bag at your front door.

“These bags will have the information on how you can help printed right on them. You can fill these bags with any excess canned goods, dried food goods, cereal etc. (all non-perishable) and put them on your porch or doorstep by 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18,” Stiles said. “The same teams will come again through their neighbourhoods and collect your gracious donations.”

Everything collected will then be taken to the gym at the Church of Latter Day Saints to box and weigh and is then loaded up to deliver to the Cowichan Valley Basket Society, and the Mill Bay, Lake Cowichan, and Chemainus food banks.

This province-wide annual project, in its 13th year, has collected more than 600,000 lb. of food for the more than 50 community food banks in their local areas, including more than 13,000 pounds of non-perishables for those in need in Cowichan Valley.

Cowichan Valley Citizen