Manic Monday – Looking for Tourism Champions to Battle Hunger

Midnight Musings from our CEO

Last week I heard a startling statistic.  Our BC food banks currently assist over 103,000 people every month, a full third (34,000) are children and these numbers are continuing to grow. These statistics are overwhelming in a province and country of so much wealth and prosperity. While the holiday season tends to bring a renewed focus of effort on this subject with multiple organizations hosting food drives and other initiatives to ensure that the shelves of community food banks are full; it is not a season issue but a staggering problem that is occurring all year long.

It is hard to imagine how much time, effort and energy is spent on the very important role of helping those in unprivileged countries receive the nourishment they desperately need while at the same time realizing so many people we come in direct contact with daily are going to school and work with empty stomachs.

As an industry there are things we can be doing and tremendous examples of our stakeholders finding unique ways to help champion this cause. One outstanding project is happening near Oliver where Arterra Wines Canada (formerly Constellation Brands) where they plant the perimeter of their vineyard in fresh vegetables that are regularly delivered to a few of the area food banks.

BC Tree Fruits in collaboration with the Salvation Army provides free use of their cold storage space to ensure fresh produce can be delivered throughout the winter months and many small independent bistro’s and coffee houses host programs such as “suspended” coffee or lunch where patrons pay in advance for a beverage or meal that another can utilize.

The Thompson Okanagan is region of entrepreneurs and creative thinkers who are collectively smarter than this problem and as an industry we have to work to find ways to assist our communities in ensuring that no person goes hungry.

If each of us can do our part, however large or small, to help our food banks and our neighbours we may not be able to fix the need but we will be able to fulfill it.

Individually or through your business help make a difference a life changing difference.

We are looking for Tourism Champions who are taking on hunger. Tell us your story or that of your organization and we will be sure to feature you in our news centre and Manic Monday’s


A Few Highlights from this Week’s News Centre…

The Province of British Columbia and the Thompson Okanagan have long enjoyed a strong relationship with Australia and the latest numbers certainly confirm that with visitation to the province from the land down under up 4.6% over last year (read more); Hollywood has again returned to the region with a World War II film be shot in and around the Vernon area (read more); congratulations once again to the Shuswap and the collaboration they have achieved through their Trails Roundtable, it is a best practice that should be duplicated in other parts of the region and province (read more).

Read all of this week’s News Centre stories at

Keep following and contributing to TOTA’s Facebook and Twitter sites throughout the week; send us your stories, photos, events and remarkable experiences. Make sure the industry knows what is happening around our region.  Be sure to use #route97 and #explorebc when posting your tourism shots and stories.

All News