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Mid-Island food banks receive funding ahead of the holidays

Food banks in Nanaimo, Ladysmith, and Gabriola received a total of almost $150,000
A portion of the non-perishable food items that were dropped off at the Ladysmith Food Bank at the end of the day following the Cram-A-Cruiser charity drive Saturday, Dec. 2. (Photo submitted)

Mid-Island food banks will be able to give better access to healthy food more those in need after receiving a share of B.C. government funding.

In August 2023, the province announced $15 million in funding, which was then distributed by Food Banks B.C. to local organizations around the province, including in Nanaimo, Ladysmith, and Gabriola. Nanaimo’s Loaves and Fishes received $121,000, the Ladysmith Resource Centre Association received $12,500, and Gabriola Island’s People for a Healthy Community received $7,500.

READ MORE: Food Banks BC receives $15-million in funding

“Food banks in our region are here for people during times of need, without fear or judgment,” said Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan, in an NDP caucus release. “This funding will support our local food banks to do this work, especially over the holiday season when they experience their highest levels of need.”

The funding was part of $200 million for work to strenghthen the food supply and encourage food production in the spring.

Meanwhile, at the community level, Ladysmith’s first Cram-A-Cruiser food bank fundraiser this past weekend was an overwhelming success, say RCMP.

“It was a great day overall and the weather couldn’t have been better,” said Sgt. Tim Desaulniers, the detachment’s commanding officer. “All of the volunteers are not only proud of what they could do, but are also grateful to the hundreds of people for showing the kind of heart they have.”

He expressed his thanks to Country Grocer for the use of their space, and also for preparing $10 bags of food items “which made it easy for people to grab and donate.” He said he was thankful, too, to the volunteers from Ladysmith Fire Rescue and the B.C. Ambulance Service who contributed to the effort.

The drive collected more than 725 kilograms of non-perishable food for the local food bank, and Desaulniers was surprised that cash donations totalled more than $6,000.

“Unbelievable, really, what a great community we live in…” he said. “It’s really too bad folks need to go to the food bank, especially where we live, but it’s there and we all need to try and do what we can for it and the people it serves.”

-files from Duck Paterson/for Black Press Media

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About the Author: Nanaimo Bulletin News Staff

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