A friendly competition among Metro Vancouver mayors has put more than half a million dollars into the Greater Vancouver Food Bank’s coffers.
In May, the mayors of the two North Vancouvers, Burnaby, New Westminster and Vancouver set out to raise $500,000 for the food bank – a doable goal if each mayor solicited just 50 cents per capita from their respective municipal populations. When the final donations were tallied on Tuesday, the mayors raised a combined $511,679.
On a per capita basis, City of North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan clobbered the competition, raising $68,905 or $1.20 per constituent.
New Westminster Mayor Jonathan Cote came second with $79,976 raised – about $1 per resident.
Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley pulled $149,986 for the food bank – $0.56 per Burnabarian.
District of North Vancouver Mayor Mike Little added $29,291 to the pile, or $0.35 per resident.
And, while City of Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart raised the most cash overall ($179,345), it was only good enough for fifth place in the per capita competition, $0.26.
“When I hear people talk about hungry children and seniors in our community, I’m heartbroken. Unfortunately, this pandemic has resulted in three times more people in the city experiencing food insecurity. That’s why I’ve been so proud of the way our community has come together to raise funds for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Healthy communities start with supporting the basic needs of everyone,” Buchanan said in a release.
Buchanan’s campaign listed 168 donors, with the most generous ones being North Vancouver businesses and developers. Among the biggest donors: Neptune Terminals, Adera Development Corporation, Concert Properties, Polygon Homes. Other four-digit contributors included Seaspan, G3 Terminal, Vancouver Canucks owner and developer Francesco Aquilini, North Shore Studios and CUPE local 389.
Regardless of who wound up with bragging rights or how they got them, the winners are ever-growing numbers of folks who need help.
“We are distributing more food than ever before, and working to bring on more than 20 new community agency partners in July to receive weekly food support from us. We are here to provide healthy food to those in need, and the Mayors' Food Bank Challenge played a significant role in our mission,” said David Long, CEO of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.