Whistler Centre for Sustainability
Crankworx is the biggest annual mountain bike festival around and Foodworx, the first Crankworx-connected Whistler Food Bank drive, was a resounding success with Whistler businesses, citizens and visitors coming together to support the Whistler Food Bank.
Generous folks donated almost $1,000 and dozens of kilograms of non-perishable food items in support of the food bank at a challenging time. According to the July 23, 2009 quarterly economic update from the Bank of Canada our economy is in infant stages of recovery. Good news right? Sure, but this recession we are experiencing has hugely affected our resort community and will continue to do so for the coming months. It is noticeable everywhere.
Everyone in town has their own personal tale of recession-induced woe, but perhaps one of the hardest hit organizations in town would be our very own Whistler Food Bank. During the past number of months many locals have been forced to contend with reduced working hours, layoffs, and closing businesses. This has many people turning to the food bank to help get them through a rough time.
Foodworx is a two-part food drive that was put together by Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) and the Whistler Centre for Sustainability, and based on the success of the first try, will be an annual event as part of Crankworx. The food drive kicked off on Friday, Aug. 7 with a business competition where local companies collected cash and non-perishable food donations from employees and patrons. Staff from The Gap in Whistler collected the greatest amount of cash/food and won a prize pack donated by Canadian Snowmobile Adventures and dinner courtesy of Sushi Village. Foodworx also hosted a tent in the Crankworx village tent expo.
The Whistler Food Bank, operated by WCSS, is open the first and third Monday of every month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. behind the Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church at the bottom of Lorimer Road. Typically the busiest time of year for the food bank in Whistler is the fall shoulder season, which makes up about two thirds of the food bank's yearly demand. In 2008, the Whistler Food Bank served just over 600 people. So far in 2009, the food bank has already served over 700 people and this has begun to put a strain on food bank resources. Organizers and volunteers who are aware of the impending fall shoulder season are putting out a call of action - and encouraging everyone in town to help by whatever means they can.
Already some industrious locals, local businesses, and organizations have heeded this call. Earlier in the spring Wild Willies hosted a Toonie Ride where the entry fee was by donation to the food bank. On July 29 the Whistler Village Host program organized a "Cruiser Ride" where participants donated a can as entry to the ride and then pedaled from Meadow Park to the Luna Flick being screened at Lost Lake Park. Also in July, Hostelling International hosted an open house with food from local vendors, an open mic competition, and water sports. The entry fee? You guessed it - by donation to the Food Bank!
Momentum to fill the shelves of the food bank is building, but perhaps the biggest opportunity is for everyone in Whistler to make a habit of supporting the local food bank. Foodworx 2009 was a resounding success and all who were involved deserve applause. See you next year at Foodworx 2010. Roll on food bank, roll on.
To learn more about actions which are moving Whistler toward our 2020 vision, or to get involved, go to whistler2020.ca