The annual Thanksgiving Food Drive is returning to Port Alberni.
Subscribers with the Alberni Valley News will be receiving a paper grocery bag inside their Wednesday, Sept. 14 print edition. The bags can be filled with non-perishable food and on Saturday, Sept. 17 volunteers with the food drive will be going door-to-door and picking up the bags full of food.
Food drive volunteer Bruce Patterson is asking for bags to be put out by 9 a.m. in an area that is clearly visible from the street.
This will be the 11th year that Port Alberni has participated in the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive, which is an annual food drive that delivers food and financial support to food banks. All donations will be distributed locally through the Salvation Army and the Bread of Life.
Last year, the food drive’s goal was to collect 6,000 pounds of food. Instead, they collected more than 8,000 pounds, including a large donation from Hertel Meats. This year, the goal is to collect 7,000 pounds of food.
“What we really like is things that have protein in them,” said Patterson. This includes canned meat, fish and peanut butter.
The Thanksgiving Food Drive marks the start of a busy holiday season for food banks across Canada. A report from Food Banks Canada released earlier this year says that more Canadians report they are facing hunger and food insecurity due to rising inflation and housing costs.
“We know the need is there,” said Patterson. “And COVID-19 has really amped it up.”
For those who don’t receive a paper bag or who don’t have their bags picked up on Saturday, food donations can be dropped off at Save-on-Foods on 10th Avenue. Financial donations for the Thanksgiving Food Drive can also be made there.