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Innisfail church collects thousands of pounds of food

Food and cash donations go to Innisfail and District Food Bank as volunteers prepare to help less fortunate over the upcoming holiday season
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Kim Woodruff, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Innisfail, bottom row - right, with other church members and volunteers from the Innisfail and District Food Bank on Oct. 15 following the church's delivery of thousands of pounds of food donations from its annual yellow bag food drive in the community. Submitted photo

INNISFAIL – There was a gigantic yellow wave of generosity in town.

It was one that raised thousands and thousands of pounds of food and filled the shelves of the Innisfail and District Food Bank at the right time of the year.

The unique food drive to support the town’s less fortunate was created and carried out by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Innisfail.

“They brought us 5,375 pounds of donations,” said a grateful Heather Taylor, co-coordinator of the food bank, whose 15 volunteer helpers also benefited with a free lunch from the local Subway outlet.

For about the last five years, minus ones with pandemic restrictions, the church has mobilized its volunteers to help community members in need.

On Oct. 9, church members went around to every corner of town and placed 3,500 yellow plastic bags on every residential door in Innisfail. On Oct. 15, it was the all-important day to pick up the bags.

“On Saturday morning (Oct. 15) we had routes and different families or different groups each took one. They just go and whatever yellow bags are sitting on the front step full of food we just pick up and take it to the food bank,” said church member Kim Woodruff, adding her church is already planning its next annual yellow bag food drive event for the fall of 2023. “It just makes it very easy for people to donate to the food bank with no pressure.”

Along with the 5,375 pounds of donations of mostly canned food and dry goods the church also handed the food bank $328 in cash donations.

“Our shelves are full again,” said Taylor, adding the timing of the donations came at a perfect time. “Usually by the end of May or end of June our shelves are looking pretty, pretty thin because we've given out everything.

“The food drives start now until after Christmas, and that is what we live on,” she added. “We were finding we were having to purchase more and more.”

Taylor emphasized the need in Innisfail is growing, with demand for hampers increasing this year over last by 26 per cent.