Ensuring all children in Kamloops are properly fed is an important goal — one so crucial that several locals are willing to go to jail for the cause.
Thankfully, that jail time will last only a few hours as it will be part of the annual Jail and Bail fundraiser, which will take place this Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m at Cascades Casino in Aberdeen.
The event is put together through a three-way equal partnership between the United Way, School District 73 and the Kamloops Food Bank. Money raised goes to the Feeding The Future program.
“It’s an initiative to feed kids 6 to 12,” said Danalee Baker, executive director with the local chapter of the United Way. “I think it’s going to be really fun.”
Jail and Bail, which has been held for about a decade, sees participants locked behind bars, with their “bail” set at a fundraising goal they encourage supporters to meet.
This year’s “inmates” include Baker, Dale Bass, Chris Chan, Kelly Kelland, Peter Milobar, Dez Olson, Catharine Pendrel, Arjun Singh, Greg Stewart, Darryl Sydor, and Jessica Vlegenhart.
The Jail and Bail event occurs alongside a breakfast drive-thru fundraiser at the same location. For a minimum donation of $10, hungry supporters can get their hands on a breakfast wrap, a coffee from Tim Hortons and some Timbits.
According to Baker, the drive-thru portion of the event has raised $75,000 to date, while organizers are hoping to hit a lifetime total of $600,000 from this year’s Jail and Bail.
“Feeding the Future is so important to feed kids because without food, it’s very difficult for them to play, to learn, to face life’s challenges,” Baker said. “Often times, kids have a lot of challenges in their lives. This allows them to take one worry off the table. And also their families — it’s providing their families with food, as well.”
One of the programs funded by Feeding The Future is the Starfish Backpack Program, which sends backpacks of food home with students in need.
“Sometimes the Starfish Backpack food is the only food the family has for the weekend,” Baker said.
For those who want to help, donating money toward someone’s bail money can be done online at jailandbailkamloops.com. Breakfasts can be pre-ordered and donations can be made directly to Feeding The Future online at feedingthefuture.com
“We just want to make sure our kids feel loved and safe and taken care of,” Baker said. “They deserve it.”