Saturday, December 14, Saanich Peninsula firefighters will be looking for your food bank donations

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WatchThis is the time of year when food banks across Vancouver Island need your help more than ever. And if you live on the Saanich Peninsula, Saturday December 14 is your day to help your local food bank.

This is the time of year when food banks across Vancouver Island need your help more than ever.

And if you live on the Saanich Peninsula, Saturday December 14th is your day to help your local food bank, which until 2017, was known as the Sidney Food Bank.

Bev Elder, Executive Director of the Saanich Peninsula Food Bank explains why the name was changed.

“Two years ago, we decided we would change the name, officially, to the Saanich Peninsula Food Bank.  Our clients come from Brentwood, they come from Keating, they come from Sidney and North Saanich, so we wanted to make sure that people knew that donations-wise, people should be donating here.”

The Saanich Peninsula Food Bank is located at 9586 Fifth Street in Sidney, and Elder hopes many people will donate during the holiday season.

“We’re very, very low on food stocks right now.  You can go on our website, we have a list of all the items we need, but of course money goes a lot further.  Probably every dollar, we can turn into three dollars worth of food.”

“We serve in between 1,000 and 1200 people a month, and 40 per cent of those will be children under 16,” says Elder.  “We try and treat everybody with respect and dignity.  Some people are only one or two paycheques from coming through that door, and asking for help can be the hardest thing.”

Jane Robilliard has been volunteering since 2003 and knows first hand how important the Food Bank is.  “When my son was younger, he was struggling for food and stuff, and I said, go to the food bank, and then later on in life you can come back and give something.  He and his family now volunteer at Christmas [at their local food bank in Vancouver.]”

Donna Bramston has been volunteering at the Food Bank for about 15 years.  “It’s giving back to the community,” says Bramston. “You know you’re doing some good for people that are in need.”

The Saanich Peninsula Food Bank also serves many seniors.  “Housing is obviously very expensive out here,” says Elder.  “Therefore, once they lose an income, if they lose a partner, then they’ve also lost part of their pension, so more and more seniors using the food bank.”

But there is help on the way to fill the shelves, from the three Peninsula Fire Departments.

“This is about our 15th year that we’ve been doing a food drive,” says Kirk Tamburino, from the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department.  “We do it in conjunction with Central Saanich and North Saanich Fire. We need to fill up the bins here because they’re so short this time of year, and we need to do everything we can for the food bank.”

So gather your donations if you live on the Saanich Peninsula, and watch for firefighters in your neighbourhood on Saturday, December 14.

Here is a list of the most needed items for the food bank, and THANK YOU!

Veronica CooperVeronica Cooper

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