By Kim Hutchison
From Oct. 15-17 Farm Credit Canada’s (FCC) fifth annual “Drive Away Hunger” tour will hit the streets of Alberta in an attempt to do what its title suggests.
The tour began in 2004 when an FCC employee in Ontario drove an open-cab tractor and trailer through the Listowel area for eight days. Camping along the way, he collected food and donations for local food banks. Since then, the tour has grown bigger and better rolling through communities in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and Quebec and raising an impressive total of nearly one million pounds of food.
This year the tour will be taking place in Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Alberta. The goal is to raise 100,000 pounds of food.
The central leg of the tour will begin when one of two tractors and trailers driven by FCC employees and supporters departs from the FCC office in Red Deer at 10 a.m. It will then head at to the Ponoka Vold, Jones, Vold Auction from 1:30-3:30 p.m. and Ponoka Agro from 4-4:30 p.m. before departing for various locations in Lacombe, Clive, Alix, Stettler and Bashaw. The fundraiser will conclude when both tractors and trailers meet at the Edgeworth Centre grounds in Camrose from 5-7:30 p.m. on Oct. 17.
Professional agrologist and national director of the Canadian Association of Farm Advisors, Sharon Eistetter is also district director for FCC in Central Alberta and a co-manager of the central leg of the tour. She’s proud to be involved in such a worthwhile campaign.
“I am very committed to helping our communities in Alberta fight hunger. We are a ‘have province’ for the most part, but there are still many people and children that go to bed hungry”, said Eistetter. “Having spent my entire career working in the field of agriculture, I have a good appreciation for the efforts our farmers make to grow our food. I honour and salute this industry and am privileged to be involved in this tour where I can play a small role in giving back”.
More than 40,000 people use Alberta food banks and 43 per cent of them are children so donations are greatly appreciated.
Not sure what to give? Here is a list of the top 10 most wanted food items courtesy of the Alberta Food Bank Network Association:
1. Canned fish and poultry (chicken, turkey or tuna or salmon packed in water). 2. Baby food and formula (iron-enriched formula, baby food jars of vegetables, fruit or meat, infant cereal such as oatmeal, barely or rice.). 3. Canned vegetables or fruit (packed in own juice). 4. Canned stew, chili, and brown beans. 5. Peanut butter (smooth). 6. Dry pasta. 7. Rice (plain, brown, converted or parboiled). 8. Canned spaghetti sauce. 9. Cereal (plain, fiber, non-sugar coated). 10. Canned soup (vegetable, tomato, lentil and pea).
For more information on this event and the FCC, visit www.DriveAwayHunger.ca