Two-time Olympic medallist swimmer Ryan Cochrane takes a pie in the face from fellow swimmer and Olympic competitor Hilary Caldwell.

Two-time Olympic medallist swimmer Ryan Cochrane takes a pie in the face from fellow swimmer and Olympic competitor Hilary Caldwell.

Pie-off challenge in full swing

The trunk of Charlayne Thorton-Joe’s car is full of shaving cream, tin cans and towels.

The trunk of Charlayne Thorton-Joe’s car is full of shaving cream, tin cans and towels.

The Victoria councillor has volunteered to be pied for 43 days during the Mustard Seed’s Pie-Off Challenge.

As part of the annual fundraising challenge, the Mustard Seed hopes to raise 100,000 pounds of non-perishable food to help stock its shelves until the spring and $100,000 in donations to help fund programs that help individuals break the cycle of poverty.

“People going hungry is something that I just can’t imagine in our community,” said Thorton-Joe, who has volunteered at food banks in the past. “It just breaks my heart. When I look at my life and how blessed I am, in that I don’t know what it’s like to go hungry. To see people go hungry every day, I want to be able to do my part.”

Since the second-annual campaign kicked off on Sept. 19, Thorton-Joe has been pied a dozen times (with shaving cream instead of whipping cream so food doesn’t go to waste) in exchange for a $20 donation.

She has also challenged and pied people including former Victoria mayor Dean Fortin and Victoria-Beacon Hill MLA Carole James, raising close to $800 of her $1,000 goal.

Besides having a softer-than-normal face, Thorton-Joe hopes to raise awareness of food security and issues of poverty in the community. She noted individuals on income assistance receive roughly $21 a week for food.

“It only works out to $3 a day. Just to have a cup of coffee eats up all of the budget,” she said. “I can understand why people have to use places like Our Place for meals or church breakfasts or food banks because there’s no way you can go through a week and eat.”

Kelcy Snyckers, marketing and events coordinator with the Mustard Seed, said the campaign has been successful so far with more than 50 businesses, organizations and schools involved in the fundraising effort.

“I think it really shows that the heart of the community is to come around the Mustard Seed and support the work that we do,” Snyckers said. “We’re about bringing the community together to look at ways of circumventing or at least ways of breaking the cycle of poverty in Victoria.”

The campaign runs until Saturday, Oct. 30 during which all the food will be weighed and money will be counted.

People wishing to pie Thorton-Joe for a $20 donation can email cthorton-joe@victoria.ca.