Within the Westman area, there are hundreds of customers and promoters of ViSalus weight-management products who have participated in not only improving their own health, but through the ease of the ViCares program, have been able to make meal donations to Brandon’s Samaritan House food bank.
These donations in turn are matched by the company, making it a win-win for local families in need.
This year alone, more than 5,500 meals and more than 1,300 healthy, protein cookies have been donated to Samaritan House.
“The gracious staff there will tell you what a blessing it has been for their clients with health issues like diabetes and gluten issues,” said ViSalus promoter Cheryl Goossen, who has been visiting the food bank this month to make a variety of her health company’s shakes for families coming in for their hampers.
This Saturday is ViSalus’ World’s Largest Giving Day, and Goossen says they have targeted a new non-profit organization to profile and help fundraise: The Father’s Pantry Inc.
“The Father’s Pantry Inc. is a Christian-based organization of volunteers,” said board member Wendy Flannigan. “We have no paid staff and rely entirely on the community giving us donations.”
On Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon, Goossen is joining Father’s Pantry as they collect donations in the Youth for Christ building at 1228 Rosser Ave. The east door will be open to the public.
They are hoping for donations of gently used warm clothing and boots, non-perishable food items — “and Christmas oranges will be a wonderful treat, too!”
Father’s Pantry has been in existence for a number of years, but only became incorporated as a non-profit a couple of years ago, Flannigan said.
Like Samaritan House, and as its name suggests, Father’s Pantry’s chief mandate is to feed needy families.
“Our grocery program is called Loaves + Fishes. This is where we gather food from our sponsors at no charge and distribute to the poor, hungry and homeless,” Flannigan said.
“We target families and children, and anyone in need. We refuse no one. By distribution of the groceries, we give the people a sense of worth and pride where they can prepare their meals at home with their families and loved ones.”
They also get many individual requests from mothers who need diapers, formula, baby food, clothing and more.
“We do our best to assist everyone.”
Some of Father’s Pantry sponsors include: Bethel Christian Assembly, Blue Hills Bakery, Komfort Kitchen, Waldersee Christ Lutheran Church, City of Brandon, Wilfred Baer (Sidney), Superstore, Safeway, Sobeys, Kuipers Bakery and individuals within the community.
The recipients of the donations include: Samaritan House, Helping Hands, Loaves + Fishes Program (Rivers), Friendship Drop-in Centre, Master’s Moms (Bethel Christian Assembly), Teen Challenge, Joy Smith Foundation against human trafficking and many other individuals who are in need.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 12, 2013