December 2, 2020 - West Kelowna Fire Rescue will continue their 23rd Annual Holiday Food Drive in support of local food banks. This year due to Provincial health guidelines, the fire stations will be drop off sites for residents to leave their non-perishable food donations from December 1 to 15th, 2020. 

“Our fire stations are strategically located across the Westside to provide quick response, so they also make terrific drop off locations for our residents’ food bank donations,” says Fire Chief Jason Brolund.

“We hope residents strongly support our modified approach as the holiday season is a time of great need for Westside residents accessing the Central Okanagan Food Bank. West Kelowna Fire Rescue’s Annual Food Drive collects thousands of items, keeping shelves full throughout winter.”

Westbank First Nation Chief Christopher Derickson and City of West Kelowna Mayor Gord Milsom were present Monday to kick-off the campaign.

“I think at this time of year there is a heightened awareness of those among us in need and continuing these types of services,” explains Derickson. “The West Kelowna Fire Department needs to be applauded for adapting to the restrictions under COVID but not losing sight of the need to contribute to those in need in our community.”

“A lot of families in our community that could use a helping hand, so I am fully supportive,” said Milsom. “I know the city and our fire department are fully supportive of the food bank and the good work they do in the community.”

Residents can leave their donations at in designated bins at the four locations:
Station 31 – Westbank, 3651 Old Okanagan Highway
Station 32 – Lakeview Heights, 2708 Olalla Road
Station 33 – Rose Valley, 1805 Westlake Road
Station 34 – Glenrosa, 3399 Gates Road

“Let’s do everything we can to keep our community and firefighters safe during the pandemic and still ensure the food bank gets the help it needs,” adds Chief Brolund.“Firefighters will take good care of everyone’s donations and make sure they get to the food bank.”

The Central Okanagan Food Bank forecasts a 28 per cent increase in Christmas hamper requests this year due to the pandemic.

“Food brings us together and many holiday memories are made around the table; however for families facing hunger, holiday meals can be a source of great stress," says Tammie Watson of the Central Okanagan Food Bank.

“We thank Westside residents in advance for pitching in as much as they can to support the firefighters’ food drive and make sure no one goes hungry.”

“The food bank tends to rely on our annual donation,” says Pat Harmata, captain at the West Kelowna Fire Rescue. “I’ve heard it fills the shelves up for four-to-six months from what we collect in the wintertime.”

“Having raised my son as a single parent, having relied on the donations of others just to make it day-to-day — I know how important donations are to members, the most vulnerable members of our society,” added Derickson.