North Okanagan real estate agents usually hold an annual food drive Dec. 4, but this year, due to restrictions, the drive cannot take place. Instead, the Realtors will be ringing bells in Vernon for the Salvation Army’s kettle campaign Dec. 4 and 5. (Morning Star file photo)

North Okanagan real estate agents usually hold an annual food drive Dec. 4, but this year, due to restrictions, the drive cannot take place. Instead, the Realtors will be ringing bells in Vernon for the Salvation Army’s kettle campaign Dec. 4 and 5. (Morning Star file photo)

COVID-19 cancels North Okanagan food drive

But Realtors will be ringing bells for the Salvation Army kettle campaign

A 42-year-old tradition has been curbed due to COVID-19.

“We are sad to report that our traditional realtor food drive will not be taking place this year,” organizer Dawn Taylor said.

Dozens of Realtors across the region used to spend the night collecting non-perishables for their local food banks. Hundreds of pounds of goods were collected, filling bare shelves at the Vernon, Lumby, Armstrong and Enderby food banks. The collection would feed those most in need throughout the holiday season and well into the new year.

READ MORE: North Okanagan realtors feed the need with annual drive

But the local Realtors are still hoping to collect, in a different way.

North Okanagan Realtors will be assisting the Salvation Army by ringing bells at the kettles in Vernon on the weekend of Dec. 4 and 5.

And those who normally donated food are urged to give money which actually allows food banks to extend their support further through buying power.

“We look forward to your support,” Taylor said.

You can also donate online here.

More than 1,100 people are being assisted through the food bank’s programs each month.

“About 32 per cent of those we assist are youth and children under the age of 18 years,” said the Vernon House of Hope, which operates the food bank.

READ MORE: Iconic Salvation Army fundraiser faces increased demand, challenges due to COVID-19


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