Richmond Food Bank volunteers paddle for fun at Steveston festival
The Richmond Food Bank has been part of the Steveston Dragon Boat Festival since its beginning in 2011. It’s a partnership that gets stronger every year.
“We were delighted when we were approached by Dragon Boat BC to see if we were interested in forming a team and partnering with the festival in Steveston,” recalls Communications Manager Alex Nixon.
He continues, “Dragon Boat BC has built this up to be an amazing event, starting with 30 or 40 teams. Now over 70 teams take part in a fun, lively day. We’re grateful to be part of it.”
This year, an estimated 15,000 people lined the Steveston waterfront on Saturday, August 26 to watch competitive teams from around the Pacific Northwest.
For the past six years, an enthusiastic team of volunteers and staff from the Richmond Food Bank have raced at the festival, practicing weekly from April through August at the UBC Boathouse on the Fraser River. The team was thrilled to win a Silver Medal last year in the Consolation D-division Final.
“It’s great team-building for our volunteers. They work hard, have a lot of fun, and try to be the best they can be,” says Alex.
Executive Director Hajira Hussain enjoyed paddling on the Richmond Food Bank team for the first time this year. She is also thankful for the festival’s contributions: “Community initiatives such as these, allow us to provide reliable, nutritious grocery assistance to our neighbours in need throughout the year.”
Parking proceeds add to buying power
A volunteer booth at the festival receives boxes of food and cash donations. Dragon Boat BC, organizers of the annual festival in Steveston, also donates all parking proceeds to the Richmond Food Bank.
“It’s helpful for our buying power,” Alex explains. “For every dollar we spend, we give out $6 worth of food.”
Volunteers welcome for 2018
Dragon Boat BC is seeking volunteers for the next Steveston Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday, August 25, 2018. Volunteers receive a T-shirt, complimentary food and drink, and an invitation to a post-festival BBQ. For more information or to volunteer, contact email@example.com.