Whistler2020 on the ground 

With a changing economy and fewer job opportunities, the Whistler Food Bank has served more people this year than it served in all of 2009.

The Food Bank served 1,216 people in 2009 and has already served over 1,300 individuals in 2010. The $10,000 donated by the Whistler Blackcomb foundation has been spent and the points at Nesters Market are running out. Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) has been partnering with various organizations and business to co-ordinate events such as Foodworx and other food bank fundraisers in an effort to keep donations steady, especially during the "shoulder season" months leading up to the anticipated winter season.

For the second year in a row, WCSS flipped a new food based social program onto the Crankworx trail network, raising funds and food donations for the food bank at a crucial time of the year. This event started last year as a Whistler2020 partnership between the Whistler Centre for Sustainability and WCSS to generate awareness about community resources and to gather donations to the local food bank. This Foodworx ran from Aug. 11-14 and was a great success.

August is generally a time when food bank donations are low and this event was created as an initiative to keep the shelves stocked in anticipation of Whistler's traditional "shoulder seasons." This year it is even more important to stock the shelves, as it has been an extremely busy year for the WCSS FOOD BANK.

Local businesses have really stepped up to the challenge and have continuously assisted with various fundraising events throughout this year and also participated in August with the Foodworx Workplace Challenge. During Crankworx, 12 local workplaces set up food bank donation boxes from Aug. 6 to 13 in an effort to raise the most donations by weight in order to win a two-hour backcountry tour generously donated by Canadian Snowmobile Adventures. The business winner was The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, who graciously donated back the Canadian Snowmobile Adventure to the food bank. This past week a local food bank user won the prize.

The business challenge raised over 3,000 pounds of food while the Foodworx tent, with the assistance of amazing volunteers and donated prizes, was able to collect over $2,000 in donations for their raffle.

"Foodworx was a great opportunity for businesses to have a little fun while increasing awareness for an important community need," said Greg McDonnell, WCSS Executive Director.

This collection of cans and cash has greatly assisted with stocking the shelves for the fall shoulder season, which generally is a busy time at the food bank due to an influx of underemployed people arriving in Whistler.

However, the food bank is always in need of donations so they have also launched, for the second year in a row, the Annual Firewood Sale, which is taking place Saturday, Oct. 2. The event is being held at the end of Millar Creek Road in Function Junction (beside the Garden Centre) from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is a great way to help warm your home and stock the food bank shelves at the same time.

Firewood is being sold as a fundraiser to the food bank at $100 for a pickup truck full if you pickup; $150 for a delivered load. Let's heat up the food bank this fall.

For any additional information please contact Sara Jennings Whistler Food Bank Coordinator at foodbank@mywcss.org or 604-935-7717.



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