A summer food drive by the Saint John Real Estate Board has raised well over two tons of food for food banks in southwest New Brunswick. Last month, the Board issued a challenge to its membership, after hearing about shortages at local food banks, to come up with 1,000 pounds of food before the end of July.
A friendly competition among the 280 REALTOR members of the Board generated one ton of food, and then the REALTORS hosted barbeques at three Superstore locations, accepting food donations and cash donations from the public in exchange for barbequed hamburgers and hotdogs.
"The generosity of the public was overwhelming," said Barry MacDonald, Chair of the REALTORS Care Committee, which coordinated the food drive. "People gave by the bag-full, and even by the car-full." About 55 REALTORS participated in the barbeque events, cooking up food, collecting donations, and circulating among shoppers in the store to remind them about the food drive.
Expectations were high, according to the Board, but the end tally, coming in at 4,381 pounds, surpassed 2 tons. "That blew the goal we set for ourselves right out of the water," said Board President Jason Stephen. "I am proud of the genorosity of the members of our Board and the members of our community."
Of particular note, Stephen points out, is a donation of Saint John REALTOR George Carroll, who brought in 725 pounds of food. "I like a challenge," laughed Carroll last week, as he brought in yet another load of bags of flour, juice and canned goods. "And I hate to lose!"
The Board also raised over 1,000 in cash donations at the barbeque, which MacDonald says will be converted into gift cards for more groceries to donate.
The Saint John Real Estate Board covers the southern part of New Brunswick to the US border in St. Stephen, and includes the counties of Saint John, Kings, Charlotte and portions of Queens County.