Baggage scales were doing double duty today as Vancouver Airport Authority (VAA) weighed coins collected as part of its Final Boarding Call for Pennies fundraiser.
In total, 518 kilograms of pennies were collected: enough to fund about 2,200 lunches for children in need this summer.
“Today, we saw the power of a concerted effort made by the airport community,” said Anne Murray, VAA’s vice president of community and environmental affairs.
“While a single penny may not hold much value, when combined with coins collected from across YVR’s Sea Island home, it can make a real difference in the lives of children in need in our community.”
Since June 14, the YVR community – including airport passengers and employees from its 400 plus businesses – have donated pennies to benefit Quest Food Exchange, a Vancouver-based, not-for-profit organization that helps those in need access affordable, healthy food.
The money raised will be used to provide food vouchers for families to shop in Quest’s three not-for-profit grocery markets.
“The summer can be a difficult time for families whose children rely on lunch programs during the school year,” said Elizabeth Crudgington, Quest’s executive director.
“Funds raised through YVR’s penny drive will be put to good use in helping to bridge the gap for families that are struggling financially.”
Coins donated were tallied at a public copper-coin celebration, which included a weigh-in, penny-themed games and penny candies.
VAA is the official transportation sponsor of Quest and has donated $100,000 to the organization as part of a unique two-year partnership that has also served to facilitate key relationships between Quest and YVR employees, partners, tenants and travellers.
To date, these partnerships have resulted in cash donations of more than $120,000 and food donations worth more than $125,000.