Full shelves will make Christmas fulfilling for so many

Generous community keeps the donations coming

Isaac McGregor and Isabel McGregor beside the Fill The Truck campaign vehicle. The whole McGregor family participated in fundraising for the Harvest House Food Bank on Dec. 5. It was a great event, with wonderful support shown from a generous community. (Photo submitted)

Isaac McGregor and Isabel McGregor beside the Fill The Truck campaign vehicle. The whole McGregor family participated in fundraising for the Harvest House Food Bank on Dec. 5. It was a great event, with wonderful support shown from a generous community. (Photo submitted)

Fill The Truck! Fill the Cupboards!

Generous residents are heeding the call and filling it all for the Chemainus Harvest House Society Food Bank.

The shelves at the Harvest House locations in the Chemainus United Church and Warmland Community Church in Crofton are nicely filled at the crucial time right before Christmas to meet all the needs of community members.

The annual Fill The Truck event at the Chemainus 49th Parallel Grocery was another huge success with more than 1,600 pounds of food donated, primarily from pre-packaged bags sold at the store, plus another $3,109.35 from donations, according to manager Paul McGregor.

McGregor had his whole masked family there helping out, as well as many others from the store and the community.

“We all have big smiles on our faces, you just can’t see them,” noted Tina McGregor. “It was a great event. What a wonderful and generous community Chemainus is.”

The funds, food and assorted other donations have been pouring in from everywhere and Harvest House chair Jan Aikman couldn’t be more thrilled.

“It’s been a really rough year for a lot of people,” she said.

“The people have been so supportive in our community and the provincial and federal government through Food Banks Canada and Food Banks B.C.

“It looks really good – full shelves. We’ve very blessed.”

Cori McCaw from Toys, Toiletries & Toques dropped off $1,775 worth of gift cards from local businesses that will be shared among clients this Christmas. Jones Marine Group made a $6,560 donation, Mid-Island Co-Op contributed another $1,000, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 191 donated $2,000, the Chemainus Health Care Centre Auxiliary $1,000, Thetis Island Community dropped off more than 200 pounds of food and the list goes on and on.

Harvest House also received a portion from the Juice FM Stuff The Truck event in Duncan in partnership with Save-On Foods that was an amazing success.

There’s a great dedicated team behind the scenes doing its part to sort and distribute everything from the basement of the Chemainus United Church while maintaining social distancing requirements.

“We’re still here every day stocking our shelves and giving the people as much as they can take away,” said Aikman.

On one particularly busy day last week, about 240 pounds of food was delivered. “We put our heads down, sorted it and got it on the shelves,” noted Aikman.

“I’m very lucky, my volunteers are the same people that are coming every week.”

Harvest House started giving out Christmas cards with vouchers in them Friday and once more this week for clients in Chemainus as well as during the last two Mondays before Christmas for those in Crofton.

Harvest House has a new letter slot at the food bank where envelope donations can be dropped off any time when it’s convenient.

DonationFood Bank

 

Bags of donated food for the Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank start to pile up in the Fill The Truck campaign. (Photo submitted)

Bags of donated food for the Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank start to pile up in the Fill The Truck campaign. (Photo submitted)

Chemainus 49th Parallel Grocery manager Paul McGregor starts packing bags to Fill The Truck for the Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank fundraiser. (Photo submitted)

Chemainus 49th Parallel Grocery manager Paul McGregor starts packing bags to Fill The Truck for the Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank fundraiser. (Photo submitted)

Nicole Stainbrook and Aurora Zielke are situated at the donation table. (Photo submitted)

Nicole Stainbrook and Aurora Zielke are situated at the donation table. (Photo submitted)

Kelly Vrabel, John Siebring and Jim Berger sort out the abundant amount of food coming into the Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank in the basement of the Chemainus United Church. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Kelly Vrabel, John Siebring and Jim Berger sort out the abundant amount of food coming into the Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank in the basement of the Chemainus United Church. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Harvest House chair Jan Aikman displays the fruit and produce stocked in the food bank’s new refrigerator. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Harvest House chair Jan Aikman displays the fruit and produce stocked in the food bank’s new refrigerator. (Photo by Don Bodger)

John Siebring and company add to the food already piled high on the shelves at the Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank. (Photo by Don Bodger)

John Siebring and company add to the food already piled high on the shelves at the Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The shelves are filled for Christmas at the Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank, as chair Jan Aikman shows. (Photo by Don Bodger)

The shelves are filled for Christmas at the Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank, as chair Jan Aikman shows. (Photo by Don Bodger)