KELOWNA, B.C. – The Kelowna Community Food Bank often makes appeals for donations, but when a local business stepped up to help, it provided warehouse and office space to help grow programs that help food bank clients.
Soles 4 Souls is setting up a shoe bank for food bank clients just across the street in part of a 4800 sq ft space donated by Whitworth Holdings.
“Whatever you need, we can help out,” says Jim Belshaw, Soles 4 Souls Canada director and owner of Roy’s Shoes. Shoes of all kinds will be available at the shoe bank, including work boots. The project is supported by Belshaw’s Rotary Club of Kelowna Sunrise.
While Soles 4 Souls has donated thousands of shoes to third world countries in the last five years, Belshaw has also assisted the less fortunate in B.C.
“We support 100 homeless shelters in the province and close to 94 food banks,” says Belshaw.
The Okanagan Fruit Tree Project and Food for Thought are two programs that will also get office space and move from organizer’s homes.
“We have a goal of 25,000 lbs, so I’m pretty confident I’m going to meet that goal this year,” says Okanagan Fruit Tree Project president Casey Hamilton. “Last year we did 17,000 lbs.”
Food for Thought feeds 2,500 Central Okanagan students at 23 different schools.
The food bank is gaining valuable warehouse space for storage.
“Being able to help these organizations, hopefully it provides them a little bit of stability as they’re growing,” says Lenetta Parry, food bank executive director. “We can work together and do things together.”
The space was donated to help support the food bank’s work.
“When you talk to the food bank, and you understand what they do in the community, and just how important it is for the people of Kelowna, you want to help,” says David Ferguson, property manager for Whitworth Holdings. “You want to be part of the solution.”
The shoe bank will be open August 7th across from the food bank on Ellis Street in downtown Kelowna.
To donate $5 to the Kelowna Community Food Bank by cell phone, text “Food” to 30333.