The Daily Courier Feb, 27, 2022

A campaign to raise money for the Central Okanagan Food Bank collected almost half a million dollars in December.

Donors in Kelowna and West Kelowna give $381,323 to the Be An Angel campaign.

The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation, which promised to add 25% to all donations, added $95,331 to the campaign.

In total, the campaign raised $476,654.

Food bank clients told their stories of how the food bank has helped them in moments of need in a series that ran in The Daily Courier throughout the month.

The donations were meant to help the families through the Christmas season.

“Rapid food price changes caused by inflation paired with rising costs of living here in the Okanagan, there has been a persistent increase in need at our food bank this year,” said CEO, Trevor Moss. “We feel very fortunate to be able to count on The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation in a year that was anything but normal.”

Prior to 2019, progress was being made to reduce hunger in the Central Okanagan. But then the COVID-19 pandemic and other provincial emergencies hit in 2020 and 2021, causing a lot of people — and parents — to lose their jobs.

“If the last few years have taught us anything beyond resiliency, it was to challenge the stereotypes people had believed about those who used the food bank. Hard seasons happen, and indeed they do to all of us in different ways,” Budd said.

Vulnerable groups make up much of the food bank’s clientele, with 34% being children and youth, and 20% being seniors —many of a fixed income.

For individuals with little opportunity to immediately change their circumstance, the generosity from the community has made a tangible difference in their everyday lives.

The food bank thanks each contributor, The Daily Courier and the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation.