Goldstream Food Bank volunteers at work. Light Up the City will be offering various options for the public to drop off non-perishable food items to support this food bank and others in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)

Goldstream Food Bank volunteers at work. Light Up the City will be offering various options for the public to drop off non-perishable food items to support this food bank and others in Greater Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)

Greater Victoria residents can show their charity through Light Up the City

Drive-thru food bank and toy donation dropoff sites open up this Saturday around region

The pandemic thwarted plans for mass gatherings like the Santa’s Light Parade and the Island Equipment Owners Association (IOEA) Truck Light Convoy and Food Drive, but the spirit behind those popular Greater Victoria community events remains.

The organizers of both teamed up to coordinate a way for the public to continue donating cash, non-perishable food items and new unwrapped toys for families in need, starting with a series of drive-thru donation dropoffs this Saturday (Nov. 28).

Light Up the City, on through Jan. 3, offers multiple options for supporting the Rainbow Kitchen in Esquimalt, the Goldstream Food Bank on the West Shore, the Mustard Seed Street Church and the Salvation Army Victoria Citadel.

RELATED STORY: Light Up the City takes root in Greater Victoria as pandemic cancels holiday favourite parade, convoy

Kelly Kurta, executive director of the Greater Victoria Festival Society, said she and IOEA’s Wendy Watt have had many conversations with Island Health to ensure the dropoff format follows public health orders around COVID-19. Kurta said her “stomach was in knots” until they got the green light Wednesday from the health authority.

“Food banks and toy drives are essential services, and this year, more than ever, we need them,” she said.

While Christmas charity fundraisers are common in Victoria, there are many untold stories of families hard hit by COVID, Kurta said. “We want to bring joy back to their faces and happiness back into people’s hearts.”

Given the cancellation of gatherings, the entertainment planned for Light Up the City is on hold until at least Dec. 7, Kurta said, noting they even had a Plexiglas sheet custom made to separate performers and attendees.

RELATED STORY: Winter blues a concern for Vancouver Islanders during COVID-19 Christmas season

On the bright side, a new Christmas lighting competition kicks off Dec. 1 for entries in five separate categories: homes, apartment/condos, local businesses, community organizations and First Nations communities. The five winners receive a prize worth more than $1,000 and 15 prizes in all are up for grabs. Entrants must email photos of their displays, along with their street address to gvfsvic@gmail.com.

A Light Up the City map to view displays from the safety of your vehicle will be created as entries come in. Watch the festival’s Facebook page for details.

Dropoff locations open on Saturday, Nov. 28 include Westshore Town Centre’s Cineplex Odeon parking lot, 5 to 7:30 p.m. for the Goldstream Food Bank (masks and gloves mandatory). Kids can wave to Santa from a safe distance. Dropoffs delivered between 1 and 6 p.m. at The Bay Centre downtown’s guest services desk go to Mustard Seed Food Bank and CFAX Santa’s Anonymous.

The Saanich Lions Club is accepting dropoffs at Houle Electric, 4240 Glanford Ave. from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., for the Salvation Army. Other dropoff locations Saturday include Fan Tan Home and Style, 541 Fisgard St. (10 a.m. to 3 p.m), and Sunbelt Rentals locations at 2994 Jacklin Rd. in Langford; 402 Garbally Rd., Victoria, and 10115 McDonald Park Rd. in Sidney (all 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

Find a list of locations open in December at gvfs.ca/drop-off-your-donation/.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

ChristmasFood Bank

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria Hospice staff Brianne Ohl, left, Angela Chalmers, right, and Sandi Ogloff, at back, show off their buttons that show a picture of them smiling. Staff has worked hard to maintain the connections with patients despite the barriers of PPE and rigid COVID-19 protocols. (Victoria Hospice Photo)
Hospice provides compassion in a time of COVID

Victoria Hospice 40th anniversary on pause during pandemic

Look for the Random Act of Kindness Day colouring contest in Black Press issues Jan. 17. Physical entries can be mailed or dropped off to local Black Press offices. A scanned or photographed entry can be emailed to info@victoriafoundation.bc.ca. Winning entries can get a $50 gift card to Bolen Books and a $100 donation to a charity of their choice from the VIctoria Foundation. (Pixabay)
Colouring contest coming for Kindness Day

Kindness Day colouring contest in partnership with Victoria Foundation

Sidney has moved the remaining parts of its public consultation phase part of the Official Community Plan online. (Black Press Media File)
Sidney moves to an ‘all online engagement’ process for OCP

Staff says OCP charrette scheduled for mid-February

(File photo)
‘Very lucky’: Two passengers, dog escape rollover crash in Saanich unscathed

Vehicle flips on Trans Canada Highway after hitting median, possibly due to ice, firefighter says

The large metal gate stolen from Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich on Jan. 18 reappeared less than a week later. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Large metal gate stolen from Saanich farm makes mysterious reappearance

12-foot gate returned to Muddy Valley Farm less than a week after it was stolen

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Most Read