More than 8,500 lbs of food was collected from residents in Prince Rupert and Port Edward in this year’s BC Thanksgiving Food Drive. (photo courtesy of Aisa Smithanik)

Prince Rupert and Port Edward residents rally for record breaking Thanksgiving food drive

Even with a heavy downpour volunteers came out in numbers

The 2019 Thanksgiving Food Drive had another record breaking year beating their 2018 haul by more than 2,000 lbs of food.

Despite Saturday’s pouring rain, residents were laying out bags of food by their doorsteps at 9:30 a.m. Some even called the organizer of Prince Rupert’s BC Thanksgiving Food Drive to make sure their bags would be safe in the weather.

This year more than 8,500 lbs of food (3855.5 kg) was collected across Prince Rupert and Port Edward by the volunteers. Last year’s drive stocked the local food bank for approximately three months. This year’s canned goods are expected to last for 4.5 months.

“I am so thankful for the community. I got a lot of calls earlier in the day of people worried about their bags right at 9:30 a.m. So people were right on the ball and cared what happened to their donations,” said Aisa Smithanik, local coordinator for the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive.

A total of 122 volunteers came out on Saturday to help sort out the food at the bank. The week before, classes from Roosevelt Park and Annunciation school helped label 4,500 donation bags bringing the total to 297 volunteers.

Ammon Vera (second from right) turned eight on Saturday and decided to spend his birthday with his family collecting and sorting donations. (photo courtesy of Aisa Smithanik))

“People dropped off bags and asked if we needed help sorting. We are really grateful for people who came out to do that and to all our volunteers. Everyone just came through so that was just really nice,” Smithanik said.

This is the eighth year Prince Rupert has been participating in the province-wide food drive. All food will go directly to the local food bank and distributed to those in need.

READ MORE: Record breaking 6,700 lbs food collected at Thanksgiving drive

READ MORE: Prince Rupert community pulls through for middle school’s clothing drive

Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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