Photo by Chung Chow
Alex Nixon is grateful.
“We’ve been able to help more and more people this year,” he says.
The communications manager for the Richmond Food Bank Society says it’s all thanks to the support of our community through donations of money, non-perishable food and time as volunteers. The food bank now helps more than 1,500 people each week.
“Because of the support of our community, we’ve also been able to expand our school meals program, over the past year. We’ve gone from three programs to nine meal programs for breakfasts or lunches,” Nixon says.
“My experience has been that people from all different backgrounds, faith traditions and different cultures all come together in Richmond to help people in need in our community. I think it just goes to show what a very generous and caring community we live in.”
Nixon says Richmondites find many different ways to help.
“I’ve seen schools do food drives and individuals ask for donations at their Christmas or birthday parties. People who grow food in their back yard, donate it. We’re lucky to live in such a thoughtful and caring community. We really are.”
And the giving continues. The Christmas Eve Steveston Santa Claus Parade garnered $2,100 and a van-load of food in donations for the Richmond Food Bank.
What does Nixon want in 2018? “I hope that we can keep helping one another. I hope that the community continues to support our neighbours in need and continues to donate food and money to ensure that we’re able to keep providing nutritious groceries to the people we serve.”
And what is Nixon’s wish list for the future?
“Well, I guess, setting aside peace and goodwill amongst folk, obviously high quality non-perishable food items and money that allows us to purchase what we need, when we need it, including milk and fresh vegetables.”
On Nixon’s big wish list, he’d love to show people around the food bank, give them a tour, show them how their support helps neighbours in need, and how they’re able to help so many.
“If you want a tour, call or e-mail me. We can set up a time when they can stop by and I can show them around.”
Nixon’s suggestion offers the people of Richmond a chance to see where their donations go and how they help. It also offers people a chance to see how volunteering can make a difference.
“It’s really wonderful to work with a group of volunteers. We have 230 volunteers who care, who are here to help, who are willing to help out any way they can. It’s such a joy to work with them.”
With only a paid staff of seven, “It’s really because of our volunteers that we’re able to help so many,” he says.
“It’s really heart-warming to get up each day and come to work at a place where so many people care.”