Save-On Foods store manager James Arbouw and assistant manager Mark Dudley stand next to the bin that will be used to collect donations for the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

Save-On Foods store manager James Arbouw and assistant manager Mark Dudley stand next to the bin that will be used to collect donations for the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)

B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive returns to Port Alberni for 2021

Volunteers hope to collect 6,000 lbs. of food during Sept. 25 drive

The annual BC Thanksgiving Food Drive is returning to Port Alberni this weekend.

Subscribers with the Alberni Valley News will be receiving a paper bag in their Wednesday, Sept. 22 print edition. The bags can be filled with non-perishable food, and on Saturday, Sept. 25 volunteers with the food drive will be going house-to-house and picking up the bags full of food.

“We’re asking for bags to be outside by 9 a.m.,” said food drive volunteer Bruce Patterson. “And we’re asking people to put the bags in a place where we can see them.”

This is the 10th year that Port Alberni has participated in the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive, which is an annual provincial food drive that delivers food and financial support to local food banks.

Last year, the Port Alberni food drive collected more than 5,000 pounds of food for the local food bank.

“We would love to get over 6,000 this year,” said Patterson.

All the food collected will stay in Port Alberni. Some will be delivered to the Salvation Army, which runs the food bank, and some will be delivered to the Bread of Life. To keep things safe during COVID-19, the food will sit on a shelf for a week before it is distributed.

Patterson said the food drive is looking for any non-perishable food donations.

“Proteins are always needed—things like peanut butter and meats,” said Patterson. “But we will take anything as long as it’s non-perishable.”

For the first time this year, the Port Alberni food drive also has a local grocery store participating in the effort. Save-On-Foods (3756 10th Avenue) has a donation box near the customer service counter where people can drop off food donations. The store will also be taking cash donations at the till.

“It’s new that we’ve had a corporate sponsor this big before,” said Patterson. “We hope that will really help us out.”

If your bag of food donations is not picked up by volunteers on Saturday morning, you can email MissedPickup@BCTfooddrive.org and a runner will come by to pick it up. For more information, or to make a financial donation, check out www.bctfooddrive.org.

Charity and DonationsPort Alberni