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food bank

By Amy Fendley The money began arriving, one envelope followed by another. Every Thursday night is Local’s Night at Garfinkel’s. It’s the night of the week where those 19 and over congregate to socialize. Since the end of November Andrew Flynn, Garfinkel’s general manager, has asked that patrons contribute one dollar to the food bank upon entry on Local’s Night. It’s added up. The first cheque was in the amount of $1,085 and they have since raised $3,800, which will allow the Whistler Community Services Society to purchase the food which is most in demand. "Garfinkel’s is filling the food bank shelves, along with a few other businesses," says Carol Beckel, assistant to the executive director of the WCSS. "The support from the community has been overwhelming since our outcry for help in the fall. A lot of people donated over Christmas, but it’s the on-going stuff that’s so awesome." Flynn, says the goal is to keep the donations going throughout the winter and to ultimately raise a total of $5,000, a mark which he says they may get other bars to challenge. "It’s a good cause," says Flynn. "We started helping out at a time when the food bank was really hurting. Five hundred bucks a week is a no-brainer for us. It’s Local’s Night and it is a good local thing to give back." The food bank operates on a user-based calendar. The food bank currently distributes food the first Monday of each month, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., but will increase the number of distribution days according to demand. The food bank is located at the foot of Lorimer Road, in the trailer next to Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church. The WCSS will be meeting over the next few weeks to review current policies and procedures. Janet McDonald, executive director of the WCSS, says they will be evaluating why the food bank was five times busier this past Christmas then any previous holiday season. The WCSS may consider more intake procedures in order to efficiently help people and minimize any abuse of food bank resources.