Credit cards are a new option in the battle of East versus West during the Oak Bay real estate challenge to feed those with a little extra need this season.
Agencies at each end of Oak Bay Village – Engel and Volkers & Pemberton Holmes – compete annually in a friendly rivalry organized by the Oak Bay Business Improvement Association to raise the most food and cash to earn the title of Food Bank Challenge Champion.
This year the BIA partnered with the Victoria Rainbow Kitchen Society, where Tracy Chowen, distribution and logistics supervisor, says they’re seeing a spike in demand.
“We are seeing so many new faces each day, community support is truly invaluable during these challenging times. These amazing connections bring in the much-needed food and donations that are essential for our survival as a community kitchen. With rising food costs, we are beyond appreciative of the support we receive through fundraisers and food drives,” Chowen said in a news release.
“Food really is on the top of everyone’s mind with rising prices putting a squeeze on many families. The generosity shown by the community and those supporting the challenge is making a huge difference in people’s lives.”
The Rainbow Kitchen provides 180,000 meals a year and works to provide food security with a no questions asked policy. Programs include providing hot breakfasts and lunches, meals to three local schools, senior meals and in-house markets where guests can shop from donated goods to supplement their own cupboards for free.
The Realtor Food Bank Challenge runs now through Dec. 2. Donations can be dropped off at Pemberton Holmes, 2000 Oak Bay Ave. or Engel & Volkers at 2249 Oak Bay Ave. Both accept non-perishable food, cash, cheques and credit cards using The Rainbow Kitchen’s Tip Taps.
Cash and cheque donations are also accepted and larger donations through the website receive a tax receipt if requested. In 2022, the Realtor Food Bank Challenge raised over $10,000 and more than 1,900 pounds of food.
The challenge is held in conjunction with Oak Bay Village’s support of the Island Equipment Owners Truck Parade and Food Drive that rolls through the village on Dec. 2. That day includes music on the lawn of the municipal hall from 5 p.m. where volunteers will collect food and money donations.
Oak Bay Village is also collecting items on the Rainbow Kitchen’s Holiday Wish List including a variety of practical gifts and personal items such as mittens, toothbrushes, socks, sweaters, bus tickets and more. Items can be delivered to the front lawn of the municipal hall now through Dec. 3 or to either real estate office until Dec. 21.
Find the Holiday Wish List at visitoakbayvillage.ca.