Inclusion Langley is helping fill hungry tummies this autumn with the sixth annual food drive.
In recent days, staff and the community members helped by the organization have been busy collecting food at the Inclusion Langley locations.
They’ve also dropped off bags at homes in some parts of the community so people could fill them and have them picked up as part of the B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 23. Bags should be outside by 9 a.m.
“Then we kind of top it off with the food drive-thru,” explained Shirley Yamashita, with Inclusion Langley.
The public can also pitch in and help on Friday, Sept. 22, when Inclusion Langley once again hosts its drive-thru donation drop-off event at its main office, 23535 44th Ave., between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. People can drop off non-perishable and unexpired foods, and all donors at the drive-thru are entered into a raffle draw for prizes.
The donations will then be taken to the main collection point on Sept. 23 to be added into the collected items from the B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive.
The provincial food drive has been taking place since 2008, but the need has increased significantly in recent years. Food bank visits have risen 31 per cent and continue to go up. As well, children account for one in three food bank users and the number of seniors needing help from food banks has risen by 20 per cent in the past two years.
“This is an annual, province-wide event taking place in many communities across B.C.,” said local organizer Lauren Kano McGregor.
“We’re excited to once again, rally our Langley community to support this important event through the collection of non-perishable items for the Langley Food Bank and Sources Langley Food Bank.”
Through the B.C. drive, hundreds of volunteers will be distributing brown bags to homes in the community.
“On Saturday, Sept. 23, those same folks will pick up the bags of donations and bring them to the Temple View Chapel at 20370 82 Ave. for sorting and packaging, to be trucked to our food bank warehouses,” she explained.
“This year, we hope to collect upwards of 40,000 lbs. of product.”
The 2022 donations throughout B.C. amounted to 674,000 lbs. This year’s provincial goal is 800,000 lbs.
People can also donate money through the food drive website bctfooddrive.org and receive a tax receipt. Online donations can be directed to particular food banks so the donation stays in the community.
Inclusion Langley Society is a registered society and charitable organization offering a range of programs and services, including infant development program, support child development program, aboriginal infant and supported child development program, early years, children’s respite, adult respite, a full range of residential supports including staffed homes, home share and supported living, community inclusion, personal network development and supported and customized employment, said Inclusion Langley Society’s CEO, Dan Collins.
“Inclusion Langley Society is proud to be an enthusiastic supporter of the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive. It provides a wonderful opportunity for those we support, their families and caregivers, as well as our staff teams to give back to the community that supports us so well,” said Collins.
“We know there are many individuals and families in our community struggling to meet their needs in the face of increasing costs and this is small, and I hope meaningful way, that we can extend our support,” he concluded.