Monday is the first day of the Stuff the Truck campaign, which raises funds and food donations for those in affected by food insecurity in the Cowichan Valley.
The long-running campaign disperses funds to the Cowichan Valley Baseket Society (CVBS), Nourish Cowichan, and the House of Friendship.
The CVBS runs food banks across the Cowichan Valley. They operate two main programs across various communities in the Cowichan Valley, a food hamper program and a lunch program.
Nourish Cowichan is in schools across School District 79, keeping students bellies full as they expand their minds. They also do some work to help kids fed on weekends, giving a bag of groceries to those in need to bridge the gap through Saturday and Sunday.
Nourish Cowichan Executive Director Fatima Da Silva says she’s seen the demand for their services continue to grow with the community’s support.
“It is so absolutely amazing to see how much it’s grown in the past few years and all the support we’re getting from the community,” she says.
Calvin Swustus from House of Friendship says he looks forward to seeing the generosity of the Cowichan Valley every year.
“What’s really memorable is just the people who walk by and ask what it’s for. Then you explain and they give 5 bucks, or 10 bucks, or even 20 bucks, and we start collecting it all and it all adds up,” says Swustus. “It does make a big difference and it doesn’t go unnoticed.”
The House of Friendship services Indigenous people in the valley in a variety of ways including supporting people experiencing homelessness and running food hamper programs around the holidays.
The Stuff the Truck crew will be collecting donations at SaveOn Foods in Duncan everyday from 6 am to 6 pm this Monday, December 4, through Friday, December 8.