FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Over the last few weeks, the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society has seen several truckloads of food from local schools.
In November, outreach and housing coordinator Lisa Jewell was concerned with the lack of food they had at the time. Now, she says the Society won’t need to fundraise for a few months into the new year.
“I do not even have words. All the food that has been coming in is going to make all the difference in helping our people in the new year,” said Jewell.
Access to the outreach store has tripled since 2020. Jewell says 11,283 people came in for food in 2021, compared to 5,807 last year.
“This is just food services, not including poverty law, family law, or HIV programming. None of our other programs, including the hampers.”
Multiple schools in the city ran a donation drive over the past few months. On Friday alone, the organization received food from Ma Murray, CM Finch and Ecole Central. Bert Bowes also delivered some clothing donations.
Ecole Central came by on Friday with four truckloads of food and brought by their new mascot, Major Storm. The school hosted a challenge between classrooms to see who could fulfill the Society’s most needed items list.
Mrs.Isabella’s Grade 6 classroom got to see the debut of Major Storm before any other classroom due to bringing in all the items on the list. The tornado then bounced around to each classroom with treats for the students before making its way to the Society.
Some of the food donations were fueled by some friendly competition between schools as well.
Bert Bowes dropped off food donations a few months ago and challenged Dr. Kearney to do the same.
“Kearney, in turn, responded, and I think those numbers were pretty close on their item counts when they brought them in like it was equally incredible .”
On top of the generosity from local schools, the Society has accepted food and cash donations from multiple residents and businesses to keep them moving into the new year.
The Society is still taking toy donations for its annual Christmas tables. During the season, the toys are laid out in the Society’s outreach store for clients to come in and choose a gift for a loved one.
Jewell says the biggest need is teenage gifts, such as earbuds, gift certificates for fast food restaurants, and art supplies.
Anyone looking to donate to the Society can phone (250) 787-1121.