‘Empties 4 Food’ an early success for Nanaimo’s food bank

'Empties 4 Food' an early success for Nanaimo's food bank

Loaves & Fishes says it’s the first food bank on Vancouver Island to launch a fundraiser that makes use of refundable bottles. Kendall Hanson reports. 

A new fundraiser for Nanaimo’s food bank called “Empties 4 Food” is proving to be an early success.

The program launched just six weeks ago, allows people to drop off their refundable bottles in one of the nine bins located around the city. Nanaimo’s food bank, Loaves and Fishes, then returns them for funding to help fight hunger in the city. 

The community’s generosity is already surpassing expectations.

“We had to move our pickups from thinking they would be once a week to some of them three to four times a week,” sAbby Sauchuk from Loaves and Fishes Food Bank said.”The bins are filling up well beyond our wildest expectations and we’re very excited about that.”

Loaves & Fishes believes it’s the first food bank in BC to launch such a program.

“So far it’s been great and I’ve been getting phone calls from other non-profits from around the Island who have been considering the possibility of doing the same thing,” Sauchuk said. 

Loaves and Fishes already has a program that diverts good food from grocery stores from going to the landfill.

Therefore, they already have trucks available that are used picking up food and delivering it to distribution points around the city.

“We wanted to bring in some revenue but we also wanted to provide a service to this community because they support us so much,” Sauchuk said.

Nanaimo resident JoAnn Heath is among those who have been feeling good about what she’s been doing with her bottles.

“There’s a huge need so anyway I can support the community that’s what I’ll do,” Heath said.

Loaves and Fishes said so far, Empties for Food has brought in close to $5000.

Funding that will help ensure, the 1 in 10 people in Nanaimo that have used the food bank, won’t go hungry.

The Empties 4 Food donation bins can be found at Real Canadian Superstore, Triple T Party Rentals, Nanaimo Regional Landfill, Brechin United Church, Neighbourhood Church, VIU Student Residence, Maranatha Foursquare Gospel Church, Christ Community Church and Loaves and Fishes Fry Street Warehouse.

For more information on Empties 4 Food, click this link.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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