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Social media helps drum up support

Food Bank
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Sunshine Coast Community Services Society (SCCSS) is increasingly using social media to drum up support, and it’s working, with a recent campaign raising hundreds for the Sunshine Coast Food Bank, one of their many community programs.

Kelly Foley, new community connections manager at SCCSS, recently set up a Facebook page telling the community about an opportunity to give with just the click of a mouse.

Through a program with Kraft Canada, participants were invited to submit their name and then pick their registered food bank to receive 50 cents per entry from Kraft. Participants could click daily, and the numbers started to add up quickly.

“It was incredible how fast it swelled,” Foley said, noting the event was posted on Nov. 2 and the Sunshine Coast maxed out their possible contributions by Nov. 15.

Kraft Canada kept the program open until a total of $20,000 was reached for the Pacific region. The Sunshine Coast Food Bank will receive $416 of that total thanks to local involvement.

The Gibsons food bank, Harvest of Hope, also ended up raising $123 through the program.

“It was a collateral benefit,” Foley noted.

The daily donation part of the campaign is over now, but Coasters can continue to go to www.kraftfoodforfamilies.ca daily until Dec. 31 to add their name of support for the local food bank of their choice. The food bank in the Pacific region with the most names of support by the deadline will receive an additional $5,000.

While the monetary gains of on-line campaigns are appreciated, Foley said getting information out about SCCSS programs is her main focus.

“It was an opportunity for me to get out some of the stats around hunger and how often our program is being used and just bringing awareness around it,” she said.

“Social media is just so wonderful in that way.”

One of the statistics Foley highlighted was the number of times people accessed the food bank last year — 13,557 times, an average of 1,130 times a month.

“Children accounted for approximately one-third of that number,” she said.

In an effort to help children through another SCCSS program, Foley said there will be a silent auction at Sunnycrest Mall on Dec. 1. All proceeds from the auction, “full of amazing gift items,” will go toward the Bellies and Babies program at SCCSS. Bellies and Babies is a free program for pregnant women and new moms that provides nutritious meals, a place to socialize and access to community supports.

Provincial and federal funding for the program was recently cut and SCCSS has been organizing different fundraisers to help pay for the program this year.

“We’re looking for another $5,000. We’ve raised a lot and we’ve kind of juggled internally from other areas to try to support the program, so between everything, we’re left with a need of $5,000. So it’s totally attainable, I feel, and we’re hoping that we won’t ever have to do this again,” Foley said.

One other fundraiser on the horizon is the Christmas wrapping by donation at Trail Bay Centre. Elves from SCCSS will be ready to wrap starting Dec. 14, and all proceeds will go directly to the society.

To find out more about upcoming SCCSS fundraisers or the numerous community programs they provide, see www.sccss.ca.


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