Volunteers sort and pack donations at last year's Agassiz Fire Department Food Drive

Volunteers sort and pack donations at last year's Agassiz Fire Department Food Drive

Food bank reminds public to donate good quality items

When in doubt, throw it out, says community services

  • Dec. 3, 2014 10:00 a.m.

One of the biggest food drives is being held tonight, as the Agassiz Fire Department goes door to door in search of donations for the food bank.

In addition to tonight’s blitz, there are food drives happening in workplaces, in local schools, and at events throughout the month. In just a few weeks, even the CP Holiday Train will make a stop in town — offering the public another chance to share what’s in their pantries with those less fortunate.

Keeping that in mind, Agassiz-Harrison Community Services is reminding those donating to make sure the food being sent into them is edible.

“(We) see the kind spirit of our communities by the many food drives being conducted at this time of year,” Community Services said in a press release. “With all of the cans and food products being gratefully donated, AHCS would like to share some information about the importance of checking the labels for unusable food.”

Put simply: When in doubt, throw it out.

They remind those donating to double check the best before and expiry dates on foods.

“Health Canada is advising Canadians of what they should know about this kind of label,” they noted. “The best before date tells you about the freshness and shelf life of the unopened food you are buying. It must appear on almost all pre-packaged foods that will keep fresh for 90 days or less. Some foods show a best before date even if they are not required to do so. It is important to know that a best before date is only meant to indicate how long a food will retain its normal wholesomeness, flavour, and nutritional value when stored under normal conditions. “Health Canada recommends that you not consume unopened food products that have passed their best before date. They may have lost some of their flavour or their texture may have changed. Do not rely on your sight, smell or taste to judge the safety of food. Use your judgment. When in doubt, throw it out.”

Not sure how to read a best before date? Community Services offers this advice:

“Best before dates must be in both official languages, using the words “best before” and “meilleur avant” with a date in the year-month-day format. The month may be expressed as a numeral or by one of the bilingual abbreviations. The year is optional, unless it is needed for clarity (i.e., if the shelf life extends into a new calendar year),” they said.

So, what is an expiration date and how is it different from a best before date?

“Some foods-such as meal replacements, nutritional supplements, infant formulas and formulated liquid diets must carry an expiration date,” they said. “The expiration date is the date up to which the food maintains its microbiological and physical stability and the nutrient content declared on the label. Foods with an expiration date should not be consumed after the date on the label has passed. When an expiration date has passed, there is no doubt, throw it out.”

With these guidelines as explained by Health Canada, Agassiz-Harrison Community Services hopes that the dates are checked on the donations before they are brought in. AHCS wants your very generous donation to go where you intend it to go, into the homes of those who are in need.

Where to donate

• The Agassiz Fire Department is holding their annual food drive on Dec. 4 with the help of the Agassiz Scouts, Search and Rescue, Ambulance Services, along with a team of spouses, children and friends. Watch for the fire trucks and volunteers to come around door to door from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., or drop off your donations right at the fire hall.

• The annual UFVRD Stuff the Cruiser event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at SuperValu in Agassiz.

• The Community Christmas Carol Festival is held at the Agassiz Agricultural Hall on Thursday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. The admission is free, but patrons are asked to bring along canned foods.

• The CP Holiday Train will visit Agassiz on Dec. 17 at about 5 p.m. While the train brings along a great show, they also arrive with a large cheque for the food bank. The community is invited to share in the spirit of giving and bring along food items.

• Many schools and churches also collect food and cash donations on behalf of the local food bank.

* To donate directly to Agassiz Harrison Community Services, call 604-796-2585.

Just Posted

One person was transported to hospital with minor injuries following a two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road June 10. (Adam Louis/Observer)
One hurt following two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road

Agassiz Fire Department, B.C. Ambulance Service attended with RCMP

The pictures of Agassiz Secondary School’s graduates decorate the side of the school. (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: A summer send-off for the class of 2021

AESS graduates had personal ceremonies again, followed by grand grad parade

Harrison Hot Springs Elementary School issued this apology following the announcement of plans to film a music video of students wearing red and white, singing ‘O Canada’ for the village’s upcoming virtual Canada Day celebration. The filming has since been canceled until further notice. (Facebook/Harrison Hot Springs Elementary
Harrison Elementary apologizes, cancels ‘O Canada’ filming amid grief over Indigenous lives lost

Officials called the timing of the ‘O Canada’ music video ‘disrespectful’, cancelled plans

Jordyn Huitema plays for the Canadian national women’s soccer team. (Soccer Canada photos)
Chilliwack’s Jordyn Huitema and Canada battle Czechs to 0-0 draw

Huitema’s national women’s soccer squad played a friendly match against the Czechs in Spain

Hutch Hotels Ltd., which owned the former Alder Inn (which was demolished in November 2020), is among the defendants in a lawsuit related to an alleged impaired-driving crash in January 2017. The civil suit also names S & L Kitchen and Bar in Abbotsford. (Black Press file photo)
Two Fraser Valley bars named in lawsuit related to alleged impaired-driving crash

S & L Abbotsford and Alder Inn being sued by passenger in 2017 rollover collision

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Most Read