The Pemberton Food Bank’s efforts this holiday season will benefit from several fundraising events throughout the Sea to Sky corridor over the next few weeks.
Food bank coordinator Louise Stacey-Deegan with Sea to Sky Community Services said Christmas is always a good time for the organization to receive non-perishable food items for families in the seven communities served by the Pemberton Food Bank.
“I think this is a great time of year for everybody and we would just like to thank everybody – I would like it to be like this all year in an ideal world,” she said. “People are more aware at Christmas that people are hungry because it is out there in the media and on TV and big companies organize food drives.”
Stacey-Deegan said the Sea to Sky communities are very generous during the holidays, but often the food bank is forgotten the rest of the year even though the needs of those who use the service don’t really change.
“I don’t think the needs are greater over Christmas than any time of year,” she said. “It is hard to get people in the middle of the year to try to do a food drive.
“I think at this time of year it is just one of those things that everybody thinks of other people.”
Stacey-Deegan said the Pemberton food bank serves many large families in the area on a regular basis and some single people over the holidays also seek assistance. She added the food bank serves an average of 180 to 200 people every two weeks, with 70 of those are children.
“Those are quite large numbers,” she noted, adding the food bank is open every Monday during the month of December.
The efforts to fill the food bank over the holidays and into the first few weeks of January are well underway.
Events for the food bank begin next week with the second annual Gingerbread Project running from Dec. 10 to 20 at the Pemberton Valley Lodge. The gingerbread house competition costs $5 to enter by Sunday
(Dec. 9) and features an ongoing silent auction for the festive creations, with donations for the food bank also being accepted. As part of the event on Tuesday (Dec. 11) the lodge hosts a business mixer and next Saturday (Dec. 15) is family day with Santa himself in attendance.
The Whistler Sliding Centre is hosting an inaugural community fundraising event to benefit Sea to Sky Community Services next Monday (Dec. 10). Fast Food: Skeleton Slide for Hunger is the fastest way to make a donation this holiday season and all funds from slides that day will go to local food banks.
“The event is raising money for a great cause and it’s the first time an entire day is dedicated to public slides … and for only $50,” explained facility director Tracy Seitz.
With the reduced rate it is hoped $15,000 in registration fees will be raised. The sliding centre is also hosting a Local’s Cup competition that allows teams of five to compete for the title of fastest amateur skeleton team. Prizes are available for teams and solo amateur riders, costumes and wearing spandex is encouraged, spectators welcome and the after party is at the Brewhouse.
Advanced registration is required. Go to www.whistlerslidingcentre.com or call 604-964-0040 for more details.
Next Friday (Dec. 14) the Pemberton Legion hosts a dinner with proceeds going to the food bank and the following day (Dec. 15) local RCMP detachments in Pemberton, Whistler and Squamish will hold a Cram the Cruiser event.
The public is invited to fill a police car full of non-perishable food items for local food banks between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the parking lot of Scotia Bank in Pemberton, Marketplace parking lot in Whistler and Nesters in Squamish.
To contact Stacey-Deegan and the Pemberton Food Bank.