The Squamish Food Bank will remain open — at least for the time being.
After being on the verge of shutdown a few weeks ago as reported in The Chief (Aug. 21), Susan Newman, the president of the Squamish Food Bank Society (SFBS), said the response from Squamish residents has been incredible.
“Since the article came out the community has really pulled together and we should be good for at least a few months,” she said. “I’m really happy but I figured the community would come together when this came out.”
Newman said the generosity of Squamoleans has been impressive.
“The whole community in general really stepped up,” she said. “They donated food or money, everything from a dollar or two to $1,000. It all adds up and it’s been great to see.”
SFBS volunteers held a fundraiser on Aug. 25 outside of Save-On Foods and on Monday (Sept. 3), Heather Metz helped organize a “back to school” food drive that turned out to be a huge success.
“We actually started gathering up food the day after the article came out,” Metz said, noting that she filled up the box of her Toyota Tacoma with donations. “It’s been really fun and I think it’s helped raise awareness of issues like this for the kids.”
Metz said approximately 200 families donated food or money in some way with her event and she said she’s not done yet.
“I want to see how much I can help out on a regular basis,” she said. “We usually donate during Christmas but the reality is that they can always use some sort of help.”
She said it’s a great thing that the food bank has been saved.
“It’s just awesome,” she said. “Together I really think we can keep this going.”
Newman said one way to keep the positive momentum going is to participate in the upcoming B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive later this month. From Sept. 10 to 13, SFBS volunteers will be putting flyers and bags in the mailboxes of houses throughout Squamish. Homeowners can then fill the bag with food donations and on Sept. 15 volunteers will collect the bags from the doorsteps of the houses.
“There’s no personal contact whatsoever and it’s not very intrusive,” Newman said. “It’s a really good way of helping out and can also work well if someone is shy or doesn’t want people bothering them at their door.”
Newman said the project was launched in Squamish last year for the first time and saw about 2,000 pounds of food donated. She added that all the donations remain in Squamish and help out local families. Those wanting to volunteer at the Thanksgiving Food Drive can do so by contacting Newman at (604) 848-4316 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Overall I’m really happy with the community and the way we’ve come together,” she said. “I just hope they continue to remember about us.”