facebook post inspires local food drive

Last week when Amiee Rea learned that the Red Deer Food Bank was turning people away because of shortages in donations, the mother of two young children posted an update on facebook.

It read “Feeling guilty that I have the pleasure of ordering pizza… after reading that the Red Deer food bank (sic) had more people come on Monday then any other day in 25 years. Children left hungry. Make me ill.” (sic)

Jodi Graham saw the post online and immediately replied, “Instead of all of us feeling guilty…. why don’t we do a food drive with all our friends on facebook?”

The two women started to clean out their own pantries and within 24 hours created an event on the social network.

One week later, the food drive has caught the attention of many online. More than 1,100 invites have been sent out through the women’s network of friends while more than 50 people have committed to drop off food items at North West Motors in Red Deer on Nov. 27 when the food drive will take place.

A retired businesswoman with ample fundraising experience, Graham says facebook made planning the event easy.

“It’s that time of year when people are used to giving,” she says, noting that if all communities on the popular social network organized similar events where they lived, a lot of food donations could be raised all over the province.

Aware that life is busy for many who have the means and desire to donate food, Rea and Graham want to make giving easy for participants.

“People don’t have to get out of their vehicles,” says Graham. Volunteers will be at North West Motors all day Saturday to take food and money donations.

“I’ve never seen a year when people are getting onboard like this as this year,” says Sharon Schultz, a friend of Rea’s on facebook and one of many to respond to the event. “The power of facebook is phenomenal.”

Anyone can join the facebook For Food Banks event online to confirm their participation and invite others to join the food drive. All members of the community, whether they use facebook or not, are invited to drive up and donate money or non-perishable food items to the Red Deer Food Bank on Nov. 27 between 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at North West Motors, located at 3115–50 Ave.