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Posted: October 21, 2014

Challenge highlights food access issues

Cranbrook, you’re being challenged!

On Monday, November 3, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., residents of Cranbrook are being challenged to drop food off at Cranbrook Family Connections; to be distributed to local organizations that provide food to locals in need.

Who’s challenging you? Well it’s not quite clear. They are the organizers of the ‘Dinner in White’ Charity Fundraiser; and they are choosing to remain anonymous.

The Dinner in White Charity Fundraiser will be held in June 2015. It appears that details about the event and the organizers will remain secret for some time also.

“Mystery is the name of the game,” said the organizer, who is asking to remain anonymous for the time being. “In coming months, all diners will know is the date and time of the event, and of course how to obtain a table. They will also be asked to dress in white on the day of the event. They won’t even be permitted to know the location of the event, until they reach their ‘table leader’ on the day of the event. While the details of the event are a mystery, they should expect an evening beyond anything they’ve ever experienced.”

The event is meant to raise awareness about local food access issues.

“We’re doing this to raise awareness of food access issues in the Regional District of the East Kootenay. It’s a very real issue,” said the organizer. “Some of our neighbors cannot access the food they need for themselves and their children. Unfortunately, some of community is too far removed to recognize that it’s happening in Cranbrook. It’s not their fault; they just don’t happen to see it.”

The organizers started planning Dinner in White in September, but a plea for help from the Cranbrook Women’s Centre made the organizers realize that there is an urgent need for awareness and support.

On October 6, Denise Stewart requested financial support from City of Cranbrook council, for the Cranbrook Women’s Centre to purchase food.

Council responded with a donation of $300. At the meeting, Coun. Angus Davis implored the community to support the centre. Unfortunately, the call to community wasn’t heard far enough.

“I spoke to Denise Stewart, coordinator of the Cranbrook Women’s Centre. Two weeks later, there was still little impact as a result of meeting with council,” said the mystery organizer. “We are excited about our upcoming fundraising event next June, but we recognized that our actions needed to be more immediate. So we’ve decided to challenge Cranbrook in the meantime!”

It was for this reason that the organizers decided to call directly on community. They decided that they would go to every local media outlet.

“We are going to make sure that every resident of Cranbrook is aware that food access is an issue,” said the organizer. “We’re going to be vocal, to ensure that local organizations have enough food going into the holiday season. The food donated as a part of this challenge will be distributed amongst local organizations that provide food access to low income individuals and families.”

Residents are challenged to drop off food or financial resources to Cranbrook Family Connections (209-16th Avenue North, next to Core Fitness) between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday, November 3. Those responding to the challenge are encouraged to drop off any of the following:

– Root vegetables with long cellar life, such as squash, potatoes, carrots, onions, etc.

– Fresh meat and dairy products that can be frozen.

-Non-perishable food items.

– Cash and/or gift cards. 
For individuals looking for more information, or organizations that are interested in benefitting from this event and have not yet been contacted, please contact Bellies to Babies Pregnancy Outreach Program at 250-489- 5011.

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