Getting stuffed took on a whole new meaning on Dec. 5, as the Nakusp Food Bank worked in partnership with Overwaitea Foods, and BC Transit for the ninth annual Stuff the Bus campaign.
Taking place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., people stopped by Overwaitea with bags of non-perishable food items and unwrapped toys, or donations to support families in need in the community. The food and toys were then placed in a BC Transit bus, on the floor, on seats, under seats, wherever there was space available.
Food from the campaign will be turned into Christmas hampers, which will be delivered on Dec. 22. Families will get a breakfast, a lunch, a supper, and a complete Christmas supper in their hampers.
“We like to do it before Christmas to make sure they have what they need for Christmas,” said Anne Miskulin, the volunteer coordinator for Arrow and Slocan Lakes Community Services. “We have a lot of needy families in the community due to logging and the economy, it’s been way down, work-wise.”
Overwaitea has been involved with the program for a number of years. They donated hot dogs and drinks to the event. Anyone who dropped off a donation could take a free hot dog and beverage. This was done so any and all cash donations could go completely to the food bank.
Rejean Perrault, store manager at Overwaitea Foods, thinks the program is a great idea.
“We’ve done similar events in other towns that I’ve worked in, and it always involves the food bank, or hampers in some shape or fashion. I think it’s a great thing to do, and a great program.”
Perrault said he believes the community supports the store, so the store should support the community.
“Also, it gives the people a venue and a focal point for the charity or event, so it gives the community a chance to rally around it as well.” he said.
This year was a particularly good year for Stuff the Bus. The program received about a third more donations than last year. By 2 p.m., all the seats had at least one bag on them, and there were bags under seats, and behind the driver’s chair as well.