Ray Stokes loads his pickup. (Gerry Beltgens photo)

Stuff the Truck raises $64,000 for Ladysmith food bank

Campaign should help carry the charity into the new year

On Dec. 10, pickup trucks and cube vans descended on the Cowichan Valley Basket Society.

Five truckloads were loaded by Ladysmith volunteers and driven to the new Ladysmith Resources Centre food bank storage container.

A total of 128 pallets of food are shared among the Ladysmith, Duncan, Chemainus, Crofton and Lake Cowichan Food Banks this year. That is up from 62 in 2017. It equates to approximately 128,000 pounds of food and supplies.

“Stuff the Truck” is sponsored and supported by The Cowichan Valley Food Basket, Save On Foods, Duncan Moving and Storage, 98.7Juice FM and Vista Radio.

Hundreds of people provide cash and non perishable food and other donations. Schools and businesses, private individuals and service clubs including the Lions, Eagles, Kinsmen and Rotary get involved. Stalker Excavating matched donations for employees and raised $13,000. The LSS Interact club raised $850 plus plenty of donations of food.

The Cinnamon Bun Run In Ladysmith raised $6,000. Save On Foods and 49th Grocery provided prepackaged bags of food. Cash donations are especially valuable as the food banks are able to buy in volume and get $3 worth of food for each cash dollar raised.

The food banks have learned to capitalize on the generosity and spirit of giving around Christmas time to stock up their storage units. Food and money collected at this time will help to provide the food bank with supplies until the summer of next year.

“I am amazed by the generosity and commitment of the residents and volunteers of the community,” said Dianne Stokes of the food bank.

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The Ladysmith storage unit, stuffed full of food. (Gerry Beltgens photo)

Volunteers unload their haul. (Gerry Beltgens photo)

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