Sidney Lions Food bank bolstered by big donation

100 Women Who Care give $14,000 to the Sidney Lions Food Bank.

From left: Paula Young

Members of the 100 Women Who Care Saanich Peninsula chapter were eager to stop by the Sidney Lions Food Bank last week to present Bev Elder with a cheque for $14,000.

Consisting of 140 women, the group that began with only 87, keeps on growing — and donating money to deserving area charities. In their first seven meetings since they started, they’ve raised $85,000.

At each meeting, the women draw three charities out of a hat, and discuss why they think certain charities should benefit.

Member Paula Young nominated the food bank and all the women ended up voting for it to be the $14,000 rcipient.

Bev Elder, Sidney Lions Food Bank executive director, received the donation and will attend the group’s March 1, 2017 meeting at Glen Meadows Golf and Country Club to follow up on the donation’s success.

“So what’ll happen is we will draw three new names at the next meeting. We’ll vote again … and … Bev from the food bank will come and tell us about what they did with this money,” said Debra Bartlett, co-founder of the Saanich Peninsula Chapter.

Young said she nominated the food bank because there is so much need.

“I am appalled that people haven’t got enough to eat and they don’t have enough money for rent as well.”

Young moved to North Saanich in October and has only been a member for a month.

“I think it’s a wonderful concept because it shows the power of the collective, what a group of people can do. Instead of having a few people give $100 here and there, we have almost $14,000 that we raised in that evening,” said Young.

Elder said to have 100 Women choose the food bank is overwhelming.

“To see that large of a donation come through the door is just phenomenal … people are trying to support their local community and we’re looking after the local residents of the community …” she said.

The $14,000, she continued, will go a long way.

Elder said they have better buying power than the average person. They can go to grocery store warehouses and buy directly from them at wholesale prices. There are other agencies, she said that will sell them canned salmon for 59 cents a can and peanut butter for $1.99 a jar.

“So on average, those are quite expensive items … quite often we’ll have people just phone us and say ‘we have an excess of something,’ and if we have money in the bank we can take advantage of it. We never really pay full price for anything.”