Christmas is typically a time when people remember to support their local food bank. But Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church has been doing so all year, and would like to see other churches to the same.
Denise Dory says that every Sunday service, she and her fellow parishioners fill a box with food donations for the Sicamous food bank. The church has been doing this now for more than a year.
“We do this year round, not just on special occasions,” says Dory. “We are able to donate quite a bit to the food bank. We are a very small parish, but we do our best to keep things up.”
The food bank’s Ruth Gibbard says the church and other groups have been bringing in food because they recognize there is a need.
“There’s an awareness out there of the need for ongoing support in the community,” says Gibbard, noting Parkview and Eagle River students have also been big supporters of the food bank. “So they’ve stepped up and have been wonderful.”
Dory personally challenges other Sicamous churches to step up and do the same.
“We would like it to be done year round,” says Dory. “People have to eat year round. It doesn’t have to very much.”
The food bank’s Christmas Hamper program is currently underway, where food and toys are being collected for distribution to needy families.
Last year the food bank gave out more than 100 hampers, and Gibbard expects the number may be a little bit more, if not the same as last year’s.
Another way to brighten up a child’s Christmas morning is through the angel tree. The tree is set up at the Sicamous branch of the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union, where anyone can come in and pick an angel. On it is a tag that says whether a gift will be for a boy or girl, and for what age. Participants may then pick up an appropriate gift and drop it off at the food bank.
Dory says she is grateful for all those at her church and in her community who have contributed to the food bank and continue to do so.