Jasmyn Drew

Group focused on losing, gains a pile of benefits for the needy

Curves food drive accumulates badly needed supplies for local food banks

Curves of Castlegar’s “Feed the Need” food drive is on from  Mar. 11 – 23 and donations are piling up in a massive box at their downtown 4th Street location.

The food drive is part of a campaign that will also see 10 per cent of March profits from Curves International (U.S. and Canada) directed to “Blessings in a Backpack” if a combined 100,000 donations are reached. “Blessings in a Backpack” is an international non-profit organization helping to ensure impoverished elementary school children are fed on weekends throughout the school year.

The joining fee is being waived for new members who donate either a bag of non-perishable food items — or $30 to their local food bank — during the March campaign.

Curves manager Annette Cameron, who has been a member of curves for eleven years and manager of the local gym for the last eight months, said membership at the club has doubled to about 130 members since she came on board.

“We offer an on-staff personal trainer as part of our memberships now,” said Cameron. “It takes it one step beyond the way things used to be.

There were six members working out on the circuit training setup when The Castlegar News paid a visit and there were plenty of stations in the large space to go around.

Attendant Jasmyn Drew, a Gr. 12 student at Stanley Humphries Secondary School, said she has been working at Curves since mid-January and loves it.

“There are so many great ladies that come in,” said Drew. “Twice around the room at each station works out to about 27 or 28 minutes and there are some ladies who come in five or six times a week. The combination of cardio and resistance training provides a good workout to tone and shape without building up an abundance of muscle; something important to women.”

Janice Kelley, who we determined was one of the older members, said she has been coming in three times per week since early December.

“I feel great,” said Kelley. “It makes you feel so good and I’m losing weight.” She added there is also a social component to regular workouts and she has made new friends.

Debbie McIntosh of the Community Harvest Food Bank (St. David’s Anglican Church at 614 Christina Place) said Curves has been very good to them over the years, like many other individuals and organizations in the area.

“It really helps those in need in our community,” said McIntosh.

“It gives them a hand up and makes people feel needed and welcome. It’s how communities are built and we are so grateful for the support.”

Total contributions to local food banks from the annual Curves Food Drive has exceeded 75,000,000 pounds of food, according to Curves Vice President of Marketing Mike Raymond.

“Each year, we encourage our clubs and members to donate even more than the year before. Our annual Food Drive is a great way for members and their communities to fill a real need by restocking the shelves in local food pantries across the U.S. and Canada during a time when they are usually low,” said Raymond.

For more information about Curves of Castlegar, 1125 – 4th Street, and details of the 2013 Curves Food Drive call 250-304-1818 or 9BYT2ML@curvesmail.com. For more information about Curves or “Blessings in a Backpack”, visit www.curves.com or www.blessingsinabackpack.org.

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