Wednesday, 19 October 2011 16:31

Generous response to FCC food drive in Swift Current

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By Matthew Liebenberg — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A generous response from Swift Current area schools and businesses resulted in the collection of more than 11,000 pounds of food items for the annual Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Drive Away Hunger food drive.

Now in its eight year, the aim of this nationwide program is to reduce hunger across Canada. The month-long campaign by FCC offices to collect food and cash donations for food banks concluded on last Friday.
Corrie Russell of the FCC office in Swift Current said they had a good response.
“We contact schools and businesses and get them on board with the food drive and then make arrangements for pickup,” she explained. “It’s all around World Food Day, which is Oct. 16.”
Nine businesses and eight schools from the area contributed to this year’s food drive, which resulted in the collection of 11,383 pounds of food for the Swift Current Salvation Army food bank. She emphasized these numbers are unofficial, as a lot of their partners are dealing directly with FCC’s corporate office.
Salvation Army Captain Michael Ramsay said people’s involvement is heartwarming.
“It’s a real blessing to see so many people volunteering their time and getting so excited about helping others in the community. It’s really amazing that so many people are a part of this, just giving hope to those in need.”
According to him the food items that were collected through this initiative will make a big difference to the food bank.
“Particularly coming off of the summer when typically our food banks are bare and gearing up for our busiest time of the year with Christmas right around the corner. This is just amazing.”
The food bank provides assistance to an average of about 140 people each month. Food bank usage has increased since 2008, when the monthy average was about 60 people.
Last Christmas the food bank provided around 230 hampers, a community meal to another 200 people as well as transition and emergency aid for those who had an extra, unexpected need.
According to Russell the success of the food drive is a result of months of preparation and planning. About 16 FCC employees in Swift Current were involved this year.
“Once this is over and we’ve got all our tallies and thank you letters sent out to everyone, we start planning for the next year almost right away,” she said.
The following Swift Current area schools and businesses participated in the food drive: Gull Lake School; Hazlet School; Cabri School; Ecole Oman Elementary School; Fairview School; St. Patrick School; Ruskin Hutterian School; Ashley Park School; ISC; Stark & Marsh; MacBean Tessem, Mercator Financial Inc.; Bridal Builders Inc.; Living Sky Casino; Paterson; Meyers Norris Penny as well as Anderson & Co. barristers and solicitors.
Last year, the FCC Drive Away Hunger program raised more than 129,000 pounds of food for Saskatchewan food banks and 1.7 million pounds of food across Canada. This year, 2.4 million pounds were collected nation-wide while in Sask. alone, 442,463 lbs was donated.

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