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

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

A 45-metre tall call tower is proposed for Westhills Stadium. (Black Press Media file photo)
New cell tower proposed for Westhills Stadium in Langford

Tower will increase capacity in congested network: staff report

Sidney Pier was one of two sites in Sidney as the Netflix series Maid shot in Sidney in late 2020. The show starring Margaret Qualley was one of 38 productions shooting in Greater Victoria. (Bob Orchard/Submitted)
Head of Greater Victoria film commission warns of lost economic opportunity

Kathleen Gilbert said without full funding, region will not be able to attract productions

Victoria Police Department vehicles outside the headquarters building. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bastion Square attack leaves victim with life-altering injuries

Victoria police looking for witnesses, information

A Sooke woman is speaking up after she was almost tricked by a lottery scam, claiming she had won $950,000 with Set for Life Lottery. (File Photo)
‘I wanted it to be true so badly’: Sooke woman almost falls for lottery scam

88-year-old received letter stating she had won $950,000

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Heather Lucier, a pastor at Kelowna Harvest Fellowship, speaks to an RCMP officer outside of Harvest Ministries on Sunday, Jan. 10. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna church fined 2nd time for violating public health order

Harvest Ministries in Kelowna has previously said they will fight the tickets in court

Mount Arrowsmith. Three skiers were rescued from the south side of the mountain on Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021 with one woman taken to hospital in Comox. (Nancy Randall photo)
Injured skier among three rescued in the dark from Mount Arrowsmith

‘It was a very bad, very precarious spot to be able to locate them’

Powell River-Sunshine Coast MLA Nicholas Simons was appointed to the NDP cabinet as minister of social development and poverty reduction after the October 2020 B.C. election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. job training fund increased for developmentally disabled

COVID-19 has affected 1,100 ‘precariously employed’ people

B.C. driver’s licence and identity cards incorporate medical services, but the passport option for land crossings is being phased out. (B.C. government)
B.C. abandons border ID cards built into driver’s licence

$35 option costing ICBC millions as demand dwindles

Submitted photo of Town Park C Block apartment fire.
Apartment fire in Port Hardy forces residents to jump from building

‘Multiple people were transported to the hospital with injuries from falling’

sdf
2nd in-school violence incident in Mission, B.C, ends in arrest

RCMP notified of local Instagram page with videos (now deleted) showing student assaults, bullying

BC Emergency Health Services has deployed the Major Incident Response Team (MIRRT) as COVID-19 positive cases rise in the Williams Lake region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
B.C.’s rapid response paramedics deployed to Williams Lake as COVID-19 cases climb

BC Emergency Health Services has sent a Major Incident Rapid Response Team to the lakecity

Most Read