It was a beautiful day this past Saturday as Members of the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) collected over 1100 lbs. of donated food for the Burns Lake food bank. Empty bags were distributed earlier in the week by ten members of the church’s youth group earlier in the week to most doors in town. Full bags were then collected, weighed and organized for distribution on Saturday morning. In all, 31 members of the local church donated many hours of their time to distribute the bags and collect the donations, ensuring the day’s success.
This local collection was part of a province-wide food drive called the B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive 2012 which staged similar events in close to 50 cities and towns across the province. The goal of the province wide effort is to collect more than 250,000 lbs. of food for local food banks. According to statistics provided by the organizers of the effort, more than 100,000 people rely on local food banks at some point each year to get them through a tight spot. The Mormons are a provincial partners in the program.
Now that the local donations have been weighed, a report that includes the number of volunteer hours will forwarded to the provincial organizers. It’s not that the local churches and groups are in competition with one another, but local volunteer organizer Linda Maertz says that it’s hard not to be a little competitive with other communities in the area. Mrs. Maertz is very happy with this year’s collection, especially considering the difficulties Burns Lake has faced over the past year with the Babine mill fire. Mrs. Maertz knows that she can count on a good collection for the food bank because, “Our community is so great, they give a lot and they are very supportive of the food bank.”