First Food Mob set for Dec. 13 for Chilliwack Sally Ann

It's like a cash mob, but people are being asked to drop off donations next Saturday in Chilliwack to help the local food bank.

The Salvation Army's warehouse was almost empty last month. The location at 46420 Brooks Avenue is where the 'Food Mob' event will be held Dec. 13 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

It’s a simple idea to feed the hungry.

It’s like a cash mob, but people are asked to drop off donations to help the local food bank.

Chris Reitsma is organizing the first ever Chilliwack Food Mob on Dec. 13 to benefit the Chilliwack Salvation Army Food Bank, using the hash tag #foodmob on social media.

It was actually a recent Progress article, with a photo depicting an empty warehouse on Brooks Avenue looking dismal for Sally Ann, that turned out to be the catalyst for 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.

He started thinking about canned goods, and the homeless people living under the overpass.

Something resonated. The idea hit him. It would be a new way for the community to help fill the shelves before Christmas.

“Why not do something like a cash mob, but for the food bank?” he thought.

He would encourage everyone in  Chilliwack to help replenish the non-perishable food reserves of the Food Bank.

It all started with an idea and some tweets and now more than 600 people online have said they will show up on Saturday afternoon next week.

“At this point I’m just trying to generate a groundswell of interest,” Reitsma added.

Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Mark Strahl made it an issue in Ottawa, standing in the House to make a comment.

“Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to highlight an important event taking place in my riding: Chilliwack’s first ever food mob.

“Like the cash mobs that started in late 2011, a food mob uses social media to encourage individuals to arrive at a set location at a specific date and time. Unlike a cash mob, where participants are encouraged to spend cash to support a local business, participants in a food mob are encouraged to make a donation of a non-perishable food item.

“Together, in the spirit of the season, I encourage those who are able to give and make this a great Christmas for everyone,” said Strahl.

The Salvation Army’s warehouse on 46420 Brooks Avenue is where the ‘Food Mob’ will be held Dec. 13 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Non-perishable goods will be accepted in a drive and drop set-up, he explained. Anyone who wants to get the word out on social media is welcome to post and tweet up a storm using #Chilliwack and #foodmob.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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