Fall is harvest time for farming towns in British Columbia. Our community is no exception, although here it has an alternate meaning as well. During September, Harvest the Valley begins – only residents of our community aren’t necessarily out harvesting the fields. We pull together to stock the shelves of our local food bank and build awareness about the need for food donations. It’s also a great way for families and neighbourhoods to get involved because participating is about as easy as it gets:
The program is only in it’s second year, but it’s been a huge success and helps to keep food on the Food Bank’s shelves past Christmas and through the rest of winter when supplies begin to dwindle. This year our class decided to participate. Our friend and Harvest the Valley promoter Zac Whyte dropped off grocery bags for us to fill with non-perishable food items and we set about spreading the word about the program to other classes in our school. We collected food over about a 3-4 week process and while it started out slowly, it eventually picked up momentum.
In the end our campaign was a huge success! We filled 35 grocery bags with tins, boxes, and pouches of non-perishable food items. Then, we found out that Campbell’s Soup and Shaw Cable would each match anyone’s donation to the Harvest the Valley program. Suddenly, every bit of food we collected actually equalled three! That meant our 35 bags would approximately equal 105 bags of food for our local Food Bank. That was an amazing feeling. We know made a difference in our own community. And it is only the beginning … we know we will find other ways to have a positive impact on our community … we’re not done just yet.
Thank you Zac Whyte, Shari Cauldron (organizer) and Valley harvesters for all the time and effort you put into organizing such a wonderful community event.
Note: After the Shaw and Campbell Soup donations were added to the total amount of food donated, our community brought in 25 000 kilograms of food to our local food bank. Also, it’s important for us to share that since we began our Harvest the Valley project, the number of people accessing our local food bank has already increased to nearly 1200 individuals. We’ve learned that an increase is common as we head into the winter months.
All class photos and the Harvest the Valley images courtesy of Zac Whyte
Day232: Harvest by -Snugg- released under a CC Attribution – Noncommercial license
DSC03075by tetting released under a CC Attribution - Noncommercial license
Full of Confidenceby ubu_pakes released under a CC Attribution license
Comox Glacier from Back Road by paulhami released under a CC Attribution – Share Alike license
All other images photographed by J. Braidwood