One week shy of Thanksgiving Day, the Regina Food Bank launched its 30th annual food drive.
“It’s 30 years of celebrating the generosity of the community,” said CEO Steve Compton.
While that also means three decades of need, Compton is clear “it’s not celebration of hunger and people being food-insecure. It’s more a celebration of the ability of the community to rise up and assist at this time of the year.”
Regina lays claim to the longest, continuous running food drive in Canada. What began with Girl Guides and Boy Scouts collecting donations has grown exponentially, with several corporate groups and a teams of volunteers on board.
“Regina is a really generous and engaged community, and we’re hoping that carries through again this year,” said Compton.
The drive is held the weekend after Thanksgiving. People can contribute on Oct. 15 by putting non-perishable food items in the brown grocery bag that recently arrived in mailboxes, and leaving it on the doorstep by 9:30 a.m. for pick-up by volunteers. Food donations can also be dropped off at Regina fire halls, grocery stores, or the Food Bank at 445 Winnipeg St.
There’s also a virtual food drive on the food bank’s website reginafoodbank.ca , allowing people to make a financial donation to purchase the top 10 most-wanted food items.
Also, on Oct. 20 is “fuel up to feed,” in which Sherwood Co-op and the Consumer’s Co-op Refineries will each donate 10 cents a litre for gas sold that day through its locations. “We take those dollars and put that into the purchase of the most-needed food items,” explained Compton.
The Top 10 list includes pasta, stews, one-litre juices, powered milk, pork and beans, peanut butter, canned meat and fish, baby food and formula.
The annual drive generally helps stock the shelves at the food bank through to around Easter. “It’s the most significant food raiser or fundraiser that we have throughout the year,” said Compton, explaining summer is generally a low-supply time of the year.
Compton appreciates all the volunteers who assist with the drive’s success. And if anyone still wants to volunteer, just contact the food bank.