Race Against Hunger campaign underway to benefit local food bank

“The Race Against Hunger” campaign will be soliciting donations of non-perishable food items and cash to benefit the Dawson Creek Salvation Army’s food bank. Today, representatives from the WPCA, EnCana and the Salvation Army were at the Co-op Mall in an attempt to drum up support for the campaign.

"We've done this throughout the summer with EnCana, so at every stop for the Race Against Hunger we`ve had (chuckwagon) drivers come out to the local grocery stores and help to raise money and donations for the local food banks, and it has been extremely successful so far," said Meghan McIvor, marketing manager for the WPCA. "The drivers all love it, it's one of their favourite things to come and participate in."

EnCana has generously committed to donating $2 for every pound of food raised, and will also match any monetary donations dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $10,000. McIvor said based on the response from Dawson Creek residents so far, she has no doubt that maximum contribution will be reached.

"They`re doing spectacular, the community has really embraced it," she said.

For Rick Fraser, a chuckwagon driver from Wetaskawin, Alta., who is taking part in his 12th Fall Fair, the food bank drives are a very significant part of the circuit.

"To me, it`s one of the really, truly important things we do is to give back to a community when we are in that community," he said. "Everybody can relate to the need, because you never know if you're going to need to stand in that line one day, and you'll be appreciative if somebody has helped you."

He said the Dawson Creek Fall Fair is truly a unique event.  

"This is one of the last few true fall fairs that we have. Not often do you get to a fair anymore where there are agriculture displays, gymkhana for kids, and horse pulls – there`s something for every member of the family at this thing."

John MacDonald, family services director for the Salvation Army, said the response so far from the community has been overwhelming. He said, for example, the food bank was getting very low of powdered milk and fresh beef, but thanks to the generosity of a few citizens, he said both items have been restocked.

"It's going really well, and I`m really excited about it," he said.

He added the great thing about the Race for Hunger campaign is that it tends to generate a lot of momentum that carries forward even after the Fall Fair.

The food drive at the Co-op Mall continues until 4 p.m. this afternoon. However, donations of non-perishable items and cash can be made at the fairgrounds from Friday until Sunday by locating EnCana`s natural gas-powered truck-wagon. Kettles will also be set up at the main entrance to the fairgrounds and at the entrance to the grandstand.