A special kind of parking meter will soon be popping up around Castlegar. The new meters are called kindness meters and are actually a fundraiser for the Community Harvest Food Bank.
Food bank director Deb McIntosh first got the idea when a friend put up a post on Facebook about the kindness meters and how they were being used in other communities. The idea seemed like a perfect fit for Castlegar.
McIntosh posted a cryptic message that she had a great fundraising idea, but that it would cost anyone interested money to find out what it was. Within 24 hours enough sponsors had come forward to purchase four meters. The meters were ordered and plans began as to how best to use them.
The ideas are growing and multiplying daily and McIntosh is getting lots of requests from business who would like to host a meter. Meters will either be hosted inside a secure location, or will be manned in a manner similar to the Salvation Army kettles, until they are installed in permanent locations. Expect to see them showing up at businesses and public events not just throughout the Christmas season, but year round. The first business to get one will be Castlegar McDonald’s.
McIntosh hopes that the meters will create a new revenue stream that will help the food bank maintain the services it has been offering. “With out funding we can not serve our clients,” she said. “I also hope it will bring awareness to the fact that there are people in your community that have nothing.”
The meters themselves cost about $350 plus costs for decals and mounting. If you are interested in sponsoring a meter, McIntosh says she will gladly order more.
The kindness meters are just the newest form of food bank fundraising, the usual methods are still in place including the current Christmas hamper campaign. “We need to do what communities do and that is pull together to make sure the needs of the people are met,” said McIntosh.
Food and monetary donations can be dropped off any day at the Fireside Inn and Kootenay Gallery or at the food bank on Wednesdays and Thursdays. To arrange a pick up of your donations you can call Chris at 250-365-8076. If you prefer to donate electronically, e-transfers can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, or to make other arrangements, the food bank can be reached at 250-365-1047.