Ammon Vera balancing banana boxes at the 2021 Thanksgiving Food Drive, on Sept. 25. Safeway donated more than 100 banana boxes to help transport the food donations. (Photo: supplied Aisa Smithanik)

Ammon Vera balancing banana boxes at the 2021 Thanksgiving Food Drive, on Sept. 25. Safeway donated more than 100 banana boxes to help transport the food donations. (Photo: supplied Aisa Smithanik)

Thanksgiving Food Drive wraps up

More than 86 volunteers had all food donations collected and boxed in less than five hours

Prince Rupert Thanksgiving Food Drive wrapped up more than 1917 kilograms of canned and dried goods for the Salvation Army, on Sept. 25.

More than 86 volunteers collected paper bags filled with food items from doorsteps along 40 routes throughout the city and sorted the food into boxes at the drive center point, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Organizer Aisa Smithanik said collection volunteers took just an hour to collect the food and then three to four hours to sort it.

“One of the challenges was having to restrict the number of sorters and having to spaces them out in our sorting station to adhere to COVID protocols,” she said.

The number of sorting tables was increased in a reconfigured set-up while spacing them out in the building to assist with that.

Smithanik said she was pleased with everyone’s efforts, and there were a few memorable moments for her this year.

“One volunteer dropped off her bags and asked if we could use help sorting. We happened to have a sorting table open while others were still out collecting, so I said, “Sure!” She had three girls with her, and they were so excited to help. They did such a good job working the whole time sorting a couple of carloads of donations. It is just so great to see kids excited and willing to help out.”

Smithanik said students from Charles Hays Secondary School volunteered this year. One of them, who had never volunteered before, said that she had so much fun sorting she would like to participate again next year.

“I hope the food drive can continue to provide opportunities for children, youth, and their families to have positive experiences as they help and serve in their community,” Smithanik said.

If a bag was missed being collected or people would like to contribute to the Thanksgiving Food Drive, donations of packaged, canned and tried goods can be dropped off at the food bins at the grocery stores, which are then delivered to the food bank.


K-J Millar | Journalist
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