Missed the Walk & Knock?
The Clark County Food Bank will continue to take donations at its drop-off box at 6502 N.E. 47th Ave., Vancouver.
The three Cub Scouts gingerly lined up to grab food lowered from the back of a pickup truck full of Walk & Knock bags on what was an extremely brisk Saturday morning.
Ian Kerr-Bryant, Derrick Loseth and Seth Delory, all 7, worked with their parents and other volunteers in the well-below-freezing temperatures, helping to fill a semi trailer at Discovery Middle School for the annual event, which stocks the Clark County Food Bank.
"The best part of today was taking the bags and getting them off the porch," Ian said.
For Seth, the day was more like a fun Easter egg hunt.
"Looking for bags was the best," Seth said.
Volunteer numbers were high despite the cold snap, but the amount of food donated dropped to about 117 tons, significantly less than last year's 152 tons, said Roxie Olsen, the event organizer.
"Hopefully, in the next few days, more donations will trickle in," Olsen said. "(The amount) may be less because of the economy, or it could be the weather. But we hope more food will come in at the drop-off location."
Saturday's low was 22 at Pearson Airfield, though it was colder in outlying areas, with a high of 30. Forecasters expected even colder weather Saturday night and Sunday morning, with a chance of breaking the Dec. 8, 1972, record of 8 degrees.
It's the second year that Cub Scout Pack 326 has participated in the event, and the adults among them said they were surprised to see so many people out to help despite the cold.
"See that truck up there?" Nina Kerr-Bryant, Ian's mom, said. "The whole bed is full of bags. Our scoutmaster filled up his entire trailer."
It was a great lesson for the boys, who were happily bounding across the setup despite the chill.
"The kids have been real troupers," said Steve Delory, Seth's dad. "It's a good lesson for them because the food is going to people who need it. But it's also a good lesson for all of us, because we see the people in the worst neighborhoods donate a lot -- because they understand and have been there."
As the kids ran back and forth with bags of food, Toby Elliot and Thomas Gilsrud loaded a semi with food that other volunteers had repacked into boxes.
Elliot, 67, has been participating in the event for about five years now with his wife and said it was the coldest one he'd seen.
Gilsrud, 17, came with other members of the Hudson's Bay High School Key Club to lend a hand.
"It's not super-hard work, but it does a lot of good," Gilsrud said. "It gives people food they need over the Christmas holiday. It's a great service without overwhelming everybody."
The cold may have stopped a few people from participating, but overall Fort Vancouver Lions area captain Shelly Staudinger said she was surprised by the turnout.
"It looks a little light because of the weather, but all the volunteers are out and in good spirits," Staudinger said. "I'm just amazed at how many did turn up. It's almost like normal, even though it's so cold."
Did you know?
Extended cold spells greatly increase the chance of frozen and burst pipes. Learn how to protect your home or business at http://redcross.org/prepare/disaster/winter-storm/preventing-thawing-frozen-pipes.
The National Weather Service is predicting that the cold snap will continue through the first half of the week, with high temperatures in the upper 20s Sunday, dropping down to between 10 and 15 degrees Sunday night.
"It still looks like through the middle of this coming week it will be in the 30s for highs and below freezing at night," Andy Bryant, a hydrologist with the weather service, said. "The best possibility for snow is probably on Tuesday, and by Thursday we think we'll get back to the wet, cool, 40-degree weather that's more common this time of year."