Rotary Food Bank Continues Its Tradition

This 15-year old tradition has been the largest event for community wherein Rotarians participate. Rotary Food Bank sets this drive for the Salvation Army where they go door-to-door to collect items from households. Their initial routes include Grande Prairie, Clairmont and Sexsmith. All food that will be collected will go to the Salvation Army Food Bank.

According to Ken O’Shea, co-chair of the said event, it all started when they would distribute printed paper bags inserted in the food bank newspaper. The households that would receive the newspaper will put food inside the paper bags and bring them to the school from where the Rotarians would pick them up.

In 2000, there was a Christian youth group who approached the Rotary, asking for a project with them. The Rotary turned them down, instead telling them to collect food for the food bank. Now, more than a decade later, the food drive is ongoing and there are even more volunteers, who come from either the corporate team or the family teams, collecting donations.

Four volunteers are teamed for each truck, together with the driver. There is an in-an-out registration, most especially for the drivers who would be asked for their numbers just in case there would be any safety concerns. Drivers are given a map of the areas that are assigned to them and door hangers if there is nobody home. There is a growing need for donations, reaching a 30% increase this year, O’Shea adds.

Although the city has gone in full gear when it comes to showing their support to the food bank, the problems continue to grow, as well as the economic downturn. Donations for the food bank go to young families that do not have enough left after paying their month’s rent, once they moved to town. Fortunately, these families who need an extra lift in their economic status do not remain on the food bank program for a very long time.

Those who are interested in donating food for the drive but will not be home at the scheduled pick up can leave the bags on the doorstep. Volunteers will go door-to-door between 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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