July 28, 2016 - 1:00 PM
KELOWNA – The One Bag Challenge started by Kelowna mayor Colin Basran has raised more than eight tonnes of food in eight days and started spreading across the country.
“It’s been going phenomenally,” Central Okanagan Community Food Bank spokesperson Lanetta Perry says. “The generosity has been pouring through.”
On July 18 Basran released a video of himself holding a bag of groceries outside the Food Bank.
“This is the one bag challenge,” he says. “I’m going to challenge five people to come down to the food bank and they have 48 hours to either drop off one bag of food or visit the Central Okanagan Food Bank website and make a small donation.”
Basran then asks those five people post a picture or video showing them with their donation and challenging five of their friends to do the same.
The idea has taken off and since it started roughly 300 people have brought in 16,000 pounds of food.
“It’s amazing when you consider that’s one bag at a time,” Perry says. “It’s heartwarming to watch.”
As the momentum builds, Perry has seen the challenge spread to Penticton, Kamloops, Lake Country, Prince George, Fraser Valley and Red Deer. B.C. premier and West Kelowna MLA Christy Clark even nominated Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall.
“We’re hoping the momentum of the campaign will continue,” Perry says. “Inventories are always low in the summertime and often for families the need actually increases because children don’t have access to school meals.”
Perry estimates the Central Okanagan Food Bank gives out close to 7,000 pounds of food every day to families in need.
“Hunger doesn’t take a vacation,” she says. “It’s so simple, it’s one bag of food. Have fun with it. We’re making such an impact on our community.”
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