After a challenging year filled with wildfires, floods and an ongoing pandemic, the Vernon Salvation Army Food Bank has seen an increase in the number of families in need this year.
“Over the past year, due to COVID, evacuees from wildfires and floods, we’ve noticed about a 27 per cent increase in new families that have needed our resources this year,” says the Salvation Army's Neil Thompson.
The year has been challenging not only because of the number of people who needed support, but also due to supply chains being cut off after floods damaged major highways in the province.
“We were very blessed to get a lot of donations at the Thanksgiving Food Drive in September. That has helped us sustain – but the fresh stuff, the milk and the vegetables, that supply chain was broken for a few weeks,” says Thompson.
“Farmers stepped up and donated some stuff from their farms, but also having the financial resources because of donations allowed us to purchase some stuff from the stores that were able to get their supply chains moving quickly.”
Being able to provide practical necessities to families in need is rewarding, says Thompson.
“It just brings us such great joy to be able to fill that need in our community, and the Salvation Army has been doing it for 115 years in Vernon.”
Thompson says the best way for people to help is financially because it allows the Salvation Army to purchase food itself throughout the year, when its shelves get empty.
The Sally Ann is also accepting food donations, which can be dropped off at the warehouse located beside its Thrift Store on 24th Street.
Monetary donations can be made at Salvation Army Christmas kettles across the city or on their website.