By Erika Mathieu
Sunny South News
Lethbridge County Council is calling on the community to help stock the shelves at local food banks this holiday season, and offering a unique opportunity to donors.
Last week, Reeve of Lethbridge County, Tory Campbell launched the Frozen Food Bank Fundraiser. The initiative will support of the Coaldale Food Bank and North County Interfaith Outreach Society in Picture Butte. The public is asked to consider donating funds or non-perishable food items, with the chance to win an opportunity to Dunk Reeve Campbell into a freezing tank of water. For each monetary donation, or item of food given, donors can enter a draw to dunk the Reeve in a dunk tank this winter.
“There’s a lot of different opportunities to do good things throughout the year and I think that is especially highlighted during the holiday season, and this was just something a little bit unique, where we could take something that’s obviously quite serious and maybe add a little bit of a fun twist to it,” Campbell said.
“I think that like most municipalities across North America, everybody has their unique challenges and I think that one of those challenges is trying to keep food on the table.”
Nancy Niebor, manager of the North County Interfaith Food Bank in Picture Butte, said, “we have absolutely seen an increase in people coming in to use the food bank,” Niebor said, adding, “given the price of everything going up, I would imagine that is why.”
Niebor said while non-perishable food items are welcomed, it is also worth considering a cash donation to support local food banks. “Of course money is always appreciated because then we are able to buy what is not on our shelves.”
In 2020, the County set out to raise $5,000 for local food banks for the holiday season. Reeve Campbell and former councillor Steve Campbell shaved their heads after surpassing this fundraising target. Campbell said, “we didn’t set a financial target, this time, but obviously I would love to see that surpass that. I think we’re a little more prepared this time,” and added, “at the end of the day, anything that we can do to help people families in need, we think is a worthwhile contribution.”
The campaign runs from Nov 1 to Nov. 30, and said the County will be finalizing the dunk date in the coming days.
Campbell said, “I think it’s an important initiative for council to try and do what we can and try and get the message out about the need in our community and encourage people, if they can, to donate and support a great cause and make sure that everyone in need is taken care of this holiday season.”
“It will be something that we’re hoping to have open to the community at large, and be something where we can come gather together and have a little bit of fun and hopefully celebrate a very sizable contribution that can be made to those two food banks.”
In a recent media release, Campbell joked, “I hope that winning the chance to dunk me into a freezing tub of water will be an added incentive to encourage the community to get out and donate.”
Donations can be made at the Coaldale or Picture Butte food banks, or at the Lethbridge administration office (#100, 905 4 Avenue South). Winning entries for the dunk tank will be drawn December 1.