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‘This is who we are’: Canoe residents proud to hold annual ‘Fill the Canoe’ food drive

Resident Karmen Krahn said generosity is a part of Canoe’s identity
Paul Ross, left, founder of the “Canoe Fills the Canoe” food drive, and Salmon Arm Mayor Alan Harrison at the 2021 Salmon Arm Winter Fun Fest Parade. The trailers used to collect food for the 2021 “Canoe Fills the Canoe” food drive will look similar to this one. (Contributed)

An annual food drive in Canoe takes place tonight, Dec. 18.

The “Canoe Fills the Canoe” event is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and there will be a fireworks display at its conclusion.

A Canoe resident who’s helping to organize the event, Karmen Krahn, said at that time two trailers will be towed around Canoe collecting food.

A bigger trailer will go up and down all Canoe’s streets, while a smaller one will make its way around the more hilly and harder-to-navigate sections of Canoe. Both trailers will be hard to miss, as they’ll be decorated festively and have music playing.

Residents are encouraged to come out of their house and make a food donation. Donated food will be split 50/50 between the Second Harvest and Salvation Army food banks. Last year, despite a modified COVID-safe event, 1,600 kilograms of food were donated. It’s an impressive total that Krahn aims to beat this year.

“We take really good care of each other here in Canoe,” said Krahn. “That generosity spills over to other people in need… This event really captures our identity. This is who we are as Canoe.”

Those who won’t be around at or after 6 p.m. can leave their food donations in their blue recycling bins out front of their residences and volunteers will pick them up.

The trailers will finish their journey around 7 p.m. at Frog Friendly Coffee, where a fireworks display will be held to celebrate.

Krahn gave a big shout out to Paul Ross, founder of the event and “Father Christmas” of Canoe.

“Even throughout COVID-19 he’s kept Canoe’s spirit alive,” said Krahn. “He’s so committed to this community and he’s a visionary.”

She also gave a big thank you to Karla Ferster of Frog Friendly Coffee. Krahn, Ferster and Ross organized this year’s event.

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