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5,000 pounds of food flown to Hope in donated helicopters

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank made the drop-off Thursday morning.
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On Thursday, Nov. 18, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank delivered 5,000 pounds of food and supplies to flood evacuees and those who are stranded in Hope.

"Such a lifesaver."

That's how Kim Paolini describes being on the receiving end of five pallets of donations from the Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB).

Paolini, who volunteers with the Hope Food Bank, tells Glacier Media the non-profit organization would have been "stuck" had the neighbouring food bank not stepped in. 

"We were out of fresh [produce]," she says. "The stores are empty here."

Following this week's mass flooding and landslides, the GVFB reached out to their counterparts in impacted communities. Each one submitted a wish list. In Hope, people were in need of everything from milk and baby formula to toothpaste.

On Thursday morning, over the course of five trips, the GVFB flew 5,000 pounds of food to Hope Food Bank and Camp Hope. 

Paolini says some of the food will be used to cook hot meals for evacuees at the reception centres while some will be taken up to the Sunshine Valley and Boston Bar. Paolini is also keeping some food for local seniors, who won't be getting their pension cheques for another week. 

"It's such a blessing," she says. 

David Long, CEO of GVFB, says it's been a real community effort. He points to one of the charity's major suppliers, BC Fresh Vegetables.

"Literally [getting] phone calls saying, 'Tell us what you need and we'll be there.'"

That generosity also came in the form of helicopter rides, to get the food where it needs to go. Around the same time GVFB was contacting food banks in need, an anonymous company reached out to offer aircraft and pilots for free.

"It's amazing," he says, adding another drop-off will take place on Monday, in Merritt.

You can catch the Hope delivery on Instagram.