The 100 Mile House Food Bank Society will hold a Pink Pig Barbecue Raffle this summer with all proceeds going to support the food bank.
3,000 tickets will be sold in the raffle, which runs from May 1 to July 31, 2019. The first prize winner will receive the Pink Pig Barbecue, and second place takes home two gift cards in the amount of $250 each to Safeway and Save-On-Foods respectively. Third prize wins a cut and wrapped side of pork.
Raffle tickets are $5 each but can be purchased in groups of three for a cost of $10. Winners will be drawn on Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. at the CKB Radio station, 407 Alder Ave.
Lyndamae McNabb is the secretary and treasurer of the 100 Mile House Food Bank Society. She explained that the food bank was recently able to purchase a new van and forklift after receiving a grant of $120,000 from Food Banks B.C. and a gaming grant of $95,000 from the province.
“B.C. Food Banks gave us the forklift, to begin with, and it was starting to wear. We needed something more upgraded so we got one from Prince George after we got the grant of $120,000.”
Bob Hicks, executive director of the society, said that before receiving the grant, the food bank had started to worry about potentially having to close its doors: “We were running very low on funds.”
Save-On-Foods and Safeway provide the bulk of produce to the society. McNabb says organizers use their new refrigerated van to do collections from both grocers but also collects a quarterly donation from Save-On-Foods. They recently received $808 in gift cards from Save-On.
McNabb says the food bank also received $3,000 towards their organization from the sale of their old forklift.
She has been volunteering for 30 years and said, “It doesn’t matter what your day is, you leave it at the door.”
McNabb enjoys asking visitors about their own day and tries to establish a warm environment to cheer her customers.
“We’ve changed a few things up there in order to ensure that everyone’s happy,” she said.
McNabb adds that organizers strive to make the pick-up process easy for everyone: “We’re here to help.”
The food bank exists to support those in need but also endeavours to avoid unnecessary waste in the process.
“We have a lady that has pigs and another one that has chickens, and some people that have sheep, and they come pick it up,” said McNabb. “Whatever they can’t use to feed their animals, they compost. So nothing goes to waste.”
Perishable foods are available at the Food Bank from 9:30 to 11 a.m. Monday to Friday and residents can visit the food bank up to twice a week and are asked to provide their own bags. These hours do not apply on hamper distribution days.
Hamper distributions take place on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The food bank closes for lunch between 11:50 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Perishable foods hours do not apply on these days.
On distribution days, McNabb said hampers are prepared based on family size. The Society hands out eggs, butter, and bread; items which are not distributed during regular hours. Vegetables and fruit are available throughout the week.
McNabb said kids and seniors are the food bank’s focus; the society has even curated a collection of children’s toys available at their location.
Previously, the food bank put out a request for toilet paper, and has since seen their supply grow tremendously.
“What we need now is what we usually put into the hampers. Macaroni, spaghetti sauce, fish, soup. A lot of people think we need milk and cream and things like that,” said McNabb, “But we only give that out at Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving.”
Since volunteering at the food bank, McNabb says the Society has not received any complaints. The first distribution of this month served about 130 people, she said, and the second distribution served 86.
“We’re getting more people all the time,” said McNabb. “There’s more hungry out there.”
McNabb estimated that roughly 50 people use the food bank during a two week period. She wants everyone in the community to know that they can visit if they are hungry. The society’s purpose is to provide food for people in danger of suffering hunger or malnutrition because of poverty.
The 100 Mile House Food Bank Society is located across from the Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School, at 199-7th Street.