One volunteer, surveying the rapidly-rising piles of food items in the Aldergrove Food Bank on Saturday, Dec. 12, summed it up.
“We’re getting tons,” she said.
It appeared a record amount of contributions landed in just four hours, although an exact measurement wasn’t available.
Food bank executive director Jim Calamunce, who is in charge of both the Langley and Aldergrove food banks, said some point during the four return trips he made to collect donations, it occurred to him that he should have brought his scales.
But even without a measurement by weight, it was clear by the end of the day, from the piles that filled the rows of tables in the food bank sorting area, that more people had contributed more supplies in one day than the food bank had ever received before.
“It was very, very generous,” Calamunce told the Langley Advance Times., praising the generosity of the community members who took part.
“We are just so appreciative,” Calamunce declared.
“We really thank them. Our hearts are full of gratitude.”
The event in the Legion parking lot, and the food bank as well, was put together in a matter of five days, one of the organizers, Karen Long, said.
“This is the time of year and this day of the year is is when we usually have our Christmas light-up parade,” Long explained.
“So we decided to create a drive-through event.”
Instead of the parade passing by viewers, the donors drove past the floats and displays, with participants that included the BC Farm Museum and the Elks, Christmas carols, Santa and Mrs Claus, and a living Nativity scene.
“Our community has come together. That’s just what Aldergrove does,” Long said proudly.
“Aldergrove just comes together when there is a need.”
Donations of food items were collected from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Legion parking lot for the Aldergrove Food Bank, and new, unwrapped toys were accepted for the families supported by Ishtar Women’s Resource Society
There was a reminder of what Christmas was really about, courtesy of the Shilton family.
Dad Mike, son Josh, mom Niki and son Sam, who are members of the Living Waters Church in Fort Langley were a living Nativity scene, with dad as Joseph and mom as Mary.
“I guess I’m a shepherd,” Sam grinned, as they posed for the Langley Advance Times.
If people want to make more donations directly to the Aldergrove food bank, at its new home in the Countryside Shopping Centre on Fraser Highway at 27524 Fraser Hwy., they can do it on Tuesdays between 11:30 am and 2 p.m. ,which is when the bank opens its door to clients.
“We don’t have any full-time staff [in Aldergrove] like we do in Langley,” Calamunce explained.
Those in Aldergrove looking to sign up for assistance can call 604-857-1671.