Pemberton Holmes hands out bags for Ladysmith food bank collection

Canvas bags will serve second purpose as reusable way for food bank clients to carry food.

The Van Isle Real Estate team is going door-to-door over the coming weeks with hundreds of canvas bags it hopes will be stuffed with non-perishables for the food bank.

Local Pemberton Holmes realtors Gerry Beltgens and Denise Tutte ordered 1,600 bags in total as part of a four month food drive.

“Donations to the food bank after Christmas really slow down so this is a way of bridging that time,” said Beltgens.

Once the bags are delivered to the food bank at the Heart of the Hill they’ll also serve a second purpose with people using them to carry the goods back home.

Food bank manager Diane Stokes explained that cloth bags have become the preferred choice because it’s just too expensive to continually be buying plastic.

“It’s such a great idea because then what we will do is we will give those bags out again,” she said. “It will go on for years as long as the bags are good.”

Beltgens and Tutte were already out over the weekend handing out bags in the Davidson Road area and they are also available at the office at 516 1st Ave.

“It’s much more proactive. There’s a far better chance that people are going to react and do something about this if the bag arrives at their door,” Beltgens said.

Seven bags were already ready for delivery to the food bank on Tuesday.

In Ladysmith, over 300 people use the food bank each week with over 40 per cent of the goods provided helping to feed children.

Stokes said unique ideas such as this one help take financial pressure off the food bank.

“We really appreciate people in Ladysmith coming up with ideas like this for the good of the whole town,” she said. “It’s helping us out because then we can spend money on things that we really need.”

Once full, bags can be dropped off at the LRCA, or at Pemberton Holmes. office.

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