By Ben Olson
No matter what state the economy is in, it should always be a priority to keep the people fed. That’s the mission of the Bonner Community Food Bank, and with the upcoming holidays, donations are needed more than ever to make sure local families in need have enough for their dinner tables.
Executive Director Debbie Love said Food Bank volunteers are currently packing pre-made Thanksgiving bags and any additional donations from the community are much appreciated.
“We’re short on canned cranberries, canned yams or sweet potatoes and canned pumpkin,” Love told the Reader. “And frozen turkeys, of course.”
Thanksgiving bags include stuffing, turkey gravy, canned vegetables like corn, green beans and mixed vegetables, canned fruit, cream of mushroom soup to make green bean casserole and fresh produce like potatoes and onions — along with turkeys.
“This year we’re focused on the sides,” Love said. “It seems like we’re coming through on the turkeys thanks to our community. But we could always use more.”
To sign up for a Thanksgiving bag, Love said for anyone within Bonner County to call ahead.
“We’re doing it a bit different this year,” she said. “We’re pre-packing all the bags all through next week and the Monday-Tuesday before Thanksgiving. We have less help, and we’re looking for volunteer drivers like last year. We have a lot of folks who can’t come out of their homes and need to have things delivered. That’s throughout the whole county, not just Sandpoint.”
The Food Bank got a boost the past weekend with two local food drives, which delivered almost 3,000 pounds of food to the Food Bank.
“The Volunteer Fire Department just did a food drive for us Friday [Nov. 5] and they brought in over 900 pounds of food,” Love said. “Also, Litehouse did a food drive Saturday and Sunday and brought over 2,000 pounds of food. It’s been really beneficial because we haven’t had food drives for over a year because of the safety protocols. It really means a lot to us.”
Love said food donations were down a bit through summer, but they are picking up again in time for the holidays.
“We want to thank our community for the support they’ve shown the Food Bank,” Love said. “We really appreciate it.”
To sign up for a Thanksgiving bag, or to volunteer as a meal delivery driver, call the Bonner Community Food Bank at 208-263-3663.
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