By Mike Gregory
The Ladysmith branch of IslandSavings has donated $2,500 to the local food bank in what is being called one of the largest contributions in recent memory.
The food bank’s volunteer purchaser and distributor Lynette Wark was at the bank’s location in Coronation Mall on Friday for the cheque presentation.
“It’s a huge donation. It’s one of the larger ones if not the largest,” Wark said.
Every dollar donated to the Ladysmith Food Bank helps fund a meal for the 250 residents, including the 115 children, who access the service.
“It’s greatly appreciated by clients, the volunteers, the food bank and by the community because what you’re doing is helping our community be healthy,” Wark said.
Local IslandSavings employees raised the funds through a combination of raffle ticket sales for a gift basket valued at close to $900, a hot dog sale with food donated by Save-On-Foods and contributions from the bank’s ‘Jean Friday.’
“It’s a small group but it’s a passionate group,” said branch manager Brad Lesiuk.
The efforts are part of IslandSavings’ The Full Cupboard campaign, which aims to raise $73,000 annually to serve the equivalent of 650,000 meals to Islanders in partnership with local food banks.
Kathy Beaveridge was the winning ticket holder for the basket which included everything from two weeks worth of parking passes at the Nanaimo Airport to gift cards from local businesses and even dinner for four at Yellow Point Lodge.
She works for the regional office of IslandSavings in Duncan and had purchased tickets for the company’s president in addition to a single one for herself.
“I think it’s great that each branch is putting in its own efforts and especially for the community of Ladysmith,” said Beaveridge.
Ladysmith residents interested in donating to The Full Cupboard campaign can bring cash or non-perishable food items to the local branch, or donate online.
“We’re thrilled to be partners all year not just two months while we fundraise,” said Deb Trockstad, a Full Cupboard Champion and personal banking advisor at the local branch.
“It’s all education of community and to make sure the funds continue to go into where it’s most needed.”
The Ladysmith Food bank is run solely on donations and does not have any direct public funding.
“All the donations are through the generosity of individuals in the community and corporations,” Wark said. “It’s just huge to think of not the fact that it’s just a one time event, but that IslandSavings seems committed and passionate about a connection that’s long term and we’re so grateful for that.”
For more information, please visit www.islandsavings.ca/Personal/Community/FullCupboard/.