Challenge is on to fill food bank

Lady Rose Marine owner challenges businesses to fill food bank shelves.

Mike Surrell of Lady Rose Marine Services is challenging other businesses in the Alberni Valley to fill the shelves of the Salvation Army’s food bank this Christmas by launching a food drive.

Mike Surrell of Lady Rose Marine Services is challenging other businesses in the Alberni Valley to fill the shelves of the Salvation Army’s food bank this Christmas by launching a food drive.

In order to collect food, Surrell is offering a cut rate on day trip tickets to ride the MV Frances Barkley: $25 per adult ticket plus three non-perishable food items.

“We’ve been getting lots of calls already said Surrell, whose business is located at Harbour Quay.

“I’ve done it so people will be motivated to bring us some food and take a ride on the Frances Barkley. I was talking to a young lady that relies on the food bank and she was saying it’s been sparse.”

Surrell approached the Salvation Army, which runs the Alberni Valley’s food bank, and has made arrangements to drop off food donations around Christmastime. His challenge runs until the end of December.

“I thought it would be a good challenge. There are lots of good people working in businesses here and I thought it would be fun to see what we could do and help the food bank.”

Surrell launched a similar project when he owned a KOA campground in Louisiana, before he moved to the Alberni Valley. At that time, they would hold an official weigh-in for food donations, and the returns were phenomenal, he said.

“By the time we were done, after doing it for years, we had so many big businesses, little businesses taking part.

“It’s a fun, friendly way for other businesses to say something like ‘buy a cup of coffee and donate a can of food or some other kind of special.”

The Frances Barkley makes regular runs to Bamfield in the winter months. Right now every trip has been like a whale-watching trip, with orcas and humpbacks spotted nearly every day in Alberni Inlet on the way to Bamfield.

“This month has been phenomenal for whale-watching. Every sailing we’ve seen whales: orcas with calves.”

Surrell is not above talking a little smack when it comes to his food challenge, and he’s willing to take as well as he gets. When he initiated a similar challenge in Louisiana, he wasn’t averse to pulling some pranks on fellow business owners to get them to collect more food.

“We know it’s a positive, good thing for the community. We want to give back to the community wherever we can.”

Lady Rose Marine Services has a large box in their lobby and will accept any food donations, whether someone is buying a ticket on the Frances Barkley or not.

The food bank is grateful for Surrell’s initiative, says Salvation Army family services coordinator, Marilyn Burrows.

“We’re struggling to keep up with the need,” she said. “We have a lot of people coming back from the oilfields and there’s no work there and no work here. We are having new people coming here every week,” she said.

The food bank deals with about 100 families a week. The shelves are typically more bare right after Christmas and in the summertime, Burrows said.

“What Mike is doing is a great thing. Christmas will be a strain but we’ll make it through. Then there’s a food bank right after Christmas, around Dec. 31, so we will need food then.”

The food bank accepts both food and cash donations, and they are always talking to businesses and other organizations that want to help out.

“We’re grateful to be in the community that understands there’s a need out there, and are willing to step up,” Burrows said.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

11th annual Magic Cottage kicks off this weekend in Port Alberni

Cottage will be open over two weekends in November

Port Alberni RCMP hold second bike registration event

Project 529 will be at Canadian Tire on Saturday, Nov. 17

Husky Gas Station robbed on Third Avenue

Port Alberni RCMP still searching for suspect

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Port Alberni care homes benefit from funding to purchase new safety equipment

Echo Village and Fir Park Village will be receiving $32,500 each

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

5 B.C. cities break temperature records

Parts of B.C. remain warm, at 10 C, while others feeling chilly

Most Read