The shelves were overflowing this week at the Sidney Lions Food Bank, after pounds and pounds of donated food were delivered there following the many recent campaigns in our community.
Without a doubt, the Saanich Peninsula is generous and this can be seen at the local food bank and wrapped up in donated gift paper as part of the Secret Santa: Toys for Tots effort. For the organizer of that campaign, Rob McMillan of Canoe Cove Restaurant, this year was his best ever. Yes, it is only his second year but the response he received has him looking forward to a busier and better 2013.
While some efforts, like Saturday’s firefighters food drive in Sidney, Central and North Saanich, saw a slight drop in overall donations, others saw better results than last year. Such as the Peninsula News Review’s Coins for Kids campaign. Maybe it was the fact that the penny is being discontinued this year, but readers of the PNR donated more than $3,000. That’s well over 2012’s $1,400.
Ups and downs aside, the Peninsula is opening its heart to families and children in need this winter. From the accounts of the food bank staff and others, the need is growing. More families than last year will be using the service, as they work to make ends meet in what could be described as the most expensive time of year.
We encourage readers, however, to keep their hearts and minds open after December 25. While campaigns generally focus on the giving nature of December, the need lasts throughout the other 364 days of the year.
Supplies at the food banks on the Island will only last so long and in a couple of months’ time, they will still rely on people’s generosity — and memory.
It’s easy to forget that the need doesn’t end when the holiday season is over. Local food banks hope that’s not the case for everyone.