Sarah Fedorchuk believes children learn what they live.
For the second year, she plans to take her six-year-old and nine-year-old sons on the Regina Food Bank’s annual food drive.
“One of the things that I love about the food drive personally is that I get to bring my kids and they get to volunteer,” said Fedorchuk, senior director of public affairs for The Mosaic Company. “They’re actually picking up the bags and putting them in the truck. It’s a really tangible way for us to have a conversation about ‘This food is going to kids like you who might just need a little help from week to week.’ ”
Food Drive grocery bags will arrive in the QC newspaper this week. Filled bags can be left on front steps for pickup by various youth groups and volunteer organizations on Saturday, Oct. 14 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Filled bags can also be dropped off at select Regina grocery stores, or at the Regina Food Bank, before the 14th.
At the official launch of the annual food drive on Monday, representatives from Sherwood Co-operatives, Access Communications, Purolator and the title sponsor — The Mosaic Company — pledged their support.
Fedorchuk noted the event grows each year because of the incredible support from the entire community.
“Together we are helping end hunger in our backyard,” she said.
This year marks the 31st annual food drive to stock empty shelves at the Regina Food Bank.
“It is the longest consecutive running food drive in Canada and it’s our most important food-raising event of the season,” said Steve Compton, the food bank’s CEO.
Heading into the fall and winter months, food supplies are critically low. At the same time, the need is growing.
“We’re starting to see an increase, and increases in our work are never welcome,” Compton said.
Over the last six weeks, 240 new families, or an average of 40 households per week, have asked for support, he said.
The food bank averages 9,000 requests for service a month — or about 250 households a day.
“It’s events like this that make it possible for us to support them,” Compton said.
Last year, 400 tons of food was collected.
“Each year, when we have the results, we take a step back and say, ‘Is that going to be our record?’ And what we find is that we’re able to meet or exceed that every year,” Compton said.
Numerous volunteer groups and corporations contribute to the success, he said.
The virtual food drive, available on the Regina Food Bank’s website, makes it possible to donate online. Donations can be made by going to www.reginafoodbank.ca to purchase food items that will be added to the final total of food collected.
Access Communications employees are manning the Food Drive hotline. If anyone’s brown bag isn’t picked up on Oct. 14, phone the hotline at 306-205-FOOD (3663) to arrange for a pickup.
Among the top 10 items wanted are peanut butter, pasta and tuna.
“Half of the people we serve are children, not all are infants, but infant formula is really important for us too,” Compton said.