Local members of the armed forces came out to the Goldstream Food Bank to lend a hand during the holiday season. (Tim Collins/Goldstream Gazette)

Navy volunteers lend a hand at food bank

Food bank shelves swelling with generosity

When Jason Bosdet first volunteered at the Goldstream Food Bank a few years back, he was struck by the spirit of the people volunteering at the site.

He was also struck by the incredible need that the food bank was addressing and how important its work was in the community.

As a petty officer (second class) with the navy, Bosdet is aware that most military families are not often at risk of needing to use a food bank and acknowledged that the military takes “pretty good care” of the men and women in uniform and their families.

“When I first came out here to volunteer it was eye-opening and a very positive experience. It showed me how lucky people in my position are and how we have a responsibility to do what we can to help others who are less fortunate,” said Bosdet.

Although Bosdet acknowledged that it isn’t often possible for navy personnel to volunteer if they are aboard ship or if their assignments preclude a lot of free time to offer to others, this year he was ashore and available so he called the food bank and asked how many people they needed to help out, just before Christmas.

“They told me it would be great to get about a dozen pairs of hands out so I reached out and today we have representatives form the Naval Fleet School Pacific, Naval Personnel Training Group Campus Support, CANFLTPAC and Maritime Operations Group 4 (or MOG 4). These people are all volunteering, and I think we all know that every little bit you can do to make someone else’s life a little easier is important,” said Bosdet.

Gayle Ireland, executive director of the Goldstream Food Bank, said that the help of Bosdet and his crew was more than just a little bit of help.

The navy crew arrived the day after the West Shore’s two secondary schools completed their annual 10,000 Tonight food drive (which generated more than 32,000 non-perishable items) and all of that food needed to be sorted, packed and stored on shelves.

“It was just fantastic how hard these navy personnel worked. They were quiet, efficient and so very quick, and when we realized that we didn’t have enough storage space in the main area, they were the ones who carried all this food up the stairs to the container unit the Legion has allowed us to use. Without Jason and his crew, I don’t know how we would have managed it,” said Ireland.

“That event was enough to put a turkey on every food bank client’s table. The navy has been so generous. I can’t say enough about their generosity, and their energy and kindness,” said Ireland.


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