Thousands of pounds of food and thousands of dollars landed at food banks around the southeast following Thursday's Blow Away Hunger, presented by Golden West Radio in Estevan.
Donations were taken throughout the day at Southern Plains Co-op grocery stores in Estevan, Carlyle, and Oxbow.
The food banks used different methods to measure the haul, but the total value of what people contributed during the 12-hour broadcast was into quintuple figures.
Two-thousand pounds of food and $3,600 was delivered to the Salvation Army's Estevan food bank Thursday night. The donations at the Estevan food bank included 199 hampers valued at $10, $15, and $20, for a total value of $2,365. The Co-op matched 100 of the $10 hampers (for an additional value of $1,000). That food value doesn't include items dropped off by donors.
In Carlyle, 215 hampers worth $2,975 were sold, with the Southern Plains Co-op in Carlyle also matching $1,000 worth of hampers.
Seventy-seven hampers were sold in Oxbow, for a value of $1,147. The Co-op matched $770.
All donations in Estevan and Carlyle went to their respective Salvation Army food banks. Food donations in Oxbow were brought to the Carnduff and District Food Bank. And monetary donations in Oxbow were destined for the Oxbow Community Emergency Support Fund.
Carnduff and District Food Bank Director Cindy Simpson said their total food donations totalled around $2,100 in value.
Totals for monetary donations Oxbow are still being finalized.
"Another year, another great success," said the Salvation Army's community ministries director for Estevan, Ronza Reynard. "The people who were back at the building unloading the stuff were quite surprised and excited as well about what came in last night."
Reynard said they give out about 5,000 to 5,500 pounds of food each month, and Thursday's load will help carry them "into December, and even a little bit beyond even... It's a great impact for the food bank."
"We are so proud and always amazed by the generosity of our small town communities that support our food bank," said the Salvation Army's Carlyle food bank chairperson, Theresa Luedtke. "The holiday season is approaching fast and everyone donation helps to fill are shelves so that hampers are available to those struggling with food insecurity."
Reynard echoed Luedtke's sentiment about the value of the contributions heading into the holidays.
"It's great to see that the community believes in what we're doing and how we're doing it and that they continue to support us like this is like the tip off to our Christmas fundraising season, right? Our kettles will be out in two weeks. And Christmas mailers just went out. So there's a lot of things happening."
The broadcast ran from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Country 106.1, Sun 102, and CJ 1150.
Golden West would like to thank everyone who contributed or helped spread the word, and the following sponsors for making Blow Away Hunger possible:
- Johnson Plumbing and Heating
- Southeast Eyecare
- TS&M Woodlawn Golf Club
- Great Canadian Oil Change
- Genco Asphalt
- Wood Country
- Carstar Estevan
- CSL Hotshot and Picker Service
- Certified Energy
- iShine Cleaning Services
- Prairie Dawg Sales & Rentals
- Canadian Tire
- Southern Plains Co-op
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