The Knights of Columbus is committed to ending hunger in local communities by asking local councils to participate in the Orderwide Food for Families Program – more information available here – commendable program, used widely across the order.
In the British Columbia jurisdiction, the Food Banks of BC operate an annual Thanksgiving Food Drive, and have done so for the past 4 to 5 years. This event has raised large amounts of food donations within participating communities for Food Banks and other similar organizations. BC Knights formally took part in this project for the first time in 2015 – some of our brother Knights and members of their families feature in this video clip:
This year, 2016, the food drive will take place on Saturday 10th and Saturday 17th of September, and councils are encouraged to participate in this event as manpower is sorely needed to make the drive a success.
On Saturday September 10, volunteers will go door to door in each community to drop off empty bags with a flyer explaining what the food drive is about and encouraging individuals or families to fill the bag with donated food items. The following Saturday, September 17th, volunteers return to pickup the full bags which are left on the front porch of homes.
After the food is collected, it is dropped off at a weigh station where it is weighed and boxed up to go to the food bank in the local community. The weigh station can be setup anywhere but a local church or your food bank would be best.
How can we Knights help?
Each Council should contact their local food bank (see the list at www.foodbanksbc.com) to see if there is a drive planned for your community. If this has been planned, ask your Council members to volunteer to pack food, help pick up the food or anything else the food bank suggests. If there isn’t a drive planned it’s suggested that the council try to organize one at their Council or parish level.
Sadly, over 97,000 people access food aid each month in BC. Millions of pounds of food are needed to feed these people. Food Banks and other similar services throughout the province are constantly short of supplies. This food drive is especially important as it comes after summer when donations to food banks are typically lower than normal, and at a time when many food banks see a surge in visits triggered by back to school costs. Alarmingly, food banks will be running out of the most needed items by the time that food drive takes place. They need the support of all of us! And, our Councils are in an excellent position to help!
Brother Knights made a significant contribution to this project in 2015 – let’s see if we can do even more this year!