Veterans food drive creates a community of supporters

The 11th Annual Veterans Food Drive brought individuals together to support and honour the Canadian Veterans on Oct. 9 to Nov.14.

Calgarians were encouraged to come out and support their Canadian Veterans by bringing non-perishable food to any donation boxes in certain venues.

Since 2007, the Canadian Legacy Project has held a Veterans Food Drive in support of the Veterans Food Bank and the Calgary Poppy Fund.

The general manager of the Royal Canadian Legion (RCL) Calgary Branches Poppy Fund and Veterans Food Bank, John Rathwell said one reason for the food drive was to provide a better quality of life for Canadian Military veterans, young and old.

“We want to build a community of supporters for our Canadian veterans,” said Rathwell.

A key component to the food drive, Rathwell said, was to educate the youth about the sacrifices that were made by the Veterans.

“Donations will assist us to continue to carry on and not break the faith with those who died.”

Last year, according to Rathwell, was the city’s biggest rally of food donations yet.

“We succeeded in filling three warehouses full,” said Rathwell.

Three warehouses is about $500,000 worth of food donations, said Rathwell.

This year’s food drive only runs till mid-November but the need continues throughout the year.

A supporter of the project is the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Chinook Arch.

The Chinook Arch is the oldest gay organization in Calgary, said Damion Worm, who is the group’s current leader.

Worm said the organization decided back in April to start supporting the Calgary Veterans Food Drive.

“We’ve also selected the Children’s Wish, the Sharp Foundations and also the HIV Community Link organizations this year,” said Worm

The organization does its part for the Veterans food drive by approaching venues that are used for their fund-raising events and putting collection boxes in each one.

“We currently have collection boxes at Twisted Element, The Backlot and The Texas Lounge,” Worm said.

For each collection box, the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Chinook Arch attaches posters, which they make themselves as well as the ones provided by the Canadian Legacy Project.

“They were very happy to hear that our organization was getting involved,” said Worm.

Organizations are not the only ones getting involved to help support their veterans.

Some individuals also go out of their way to donate their non-perishable items.

Ares Mendoza, a full-time student at the CDI College, said this food drive helps raise awareness to help those veterans in need.

“It helps them out in a bigger way,” said Mendoza.

We want to build a community of supporters for our Canadian veterans. – John Rathwell

The food drive for Mendoza is a way to bring people together as a community to show their support.

“I wear a poppy to remember them and show my support.”

Mendoza said an important message behind this food drive is that there are some people who aren’t in the best situations so it is nice to help them out.

“It’s good to remember the brave Canadians who fought for our country.”

About Dannica Mae Dulay 2 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Dannica Mae Dulay worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2017-18 academic year.