Chilliwack in ‘fine form’ at first ever Food Mob

The community came out in droves on Dec. 13, with donations to help sustain the Food Bank run by the Chilliwack Salvation Army.

Dozens of people volunteered their time to help out with Food Mob

The Sally Ann food bank warehouse is certainly a lot more full than it was last week.

The first ever Chilliwack Food Mob was a roaring success, with organizers already thinking about next year.

The community came out in droves on Dec. 13, with donations to help sustain the Food Bank run by the Chilliwack Salvation Army.

“We had a fantastic day,” said Food Bank organizer Chris Reitsma. “We had tons of traffic and people were in fine form.”

They collected 18,000 non perishable food items, and packed them into hundreds of banana boxes. Cash donations totalled about $2,800.

The Food Mob had a convenient drive-through system at the location outside the Salvation Army facility on Brooks Avenue that allowed two streams of traffic to make things run smoothly.

“We really didn’t know what to expect,” said Reitsma.

It was all over within a two-hour period on Saturday afternoon, and the results are impressive.

The idea for the first ever Chilliwack Food Mob on Dec. 13 was to benefit the Chilliwack Salvation Army Food Bank, using the hash tag #foodmob on social media.

It was a Progress article, with a photo of an empty warehouse that turned out to be the catalyst for creating the Food Mob.

“I saw that article. I looked at the picture of the warehouse and I couldn’t get it out of my mind,” said Reitsma a few weeks ago.

It caught on and people showed up to make it happen.

“I knew people would respond. But I couldn’t predict the volume,” he admitted.

A Facebook page set up by Kevin Schroeder went a long way toward helping get people energized about it as well, he added.

Some arrived at the Food Mob with trunk loads of food and cash. Others showed up in teams to volunteer. Many people appreciated having somewhere central to contribute, and praised the event.

“It was fantastic. There were smiles all around,” added Reitsma.

There are rumblings about making it an annual event.

“All signs pointed to yes!” he said.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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