Donations aren’t keeping up with skyrocketing demand at the Central Okanagan Food Bank.
A spring food drive, in conjunction with Loblaw, is now underway. From March 30 to April 16, The Real Canadian Superstores in Kelowna and West Kelowna and Peter’s Your Independent Grocer, will be collecting donations of food and funds that will go directly to the local food bank to support community members in need.
Food bank executive-director Trevor Moss says this food drive is critical to replenish their stocks.“Our food donations are drastically down due to the ongoing needs of our clients, and due to the cost of food and inflation.”
He says the number of clients coming to them for help has jumped by nearly 30 per cent compared to this time last year. That works out to about 1,500 more people in the Central Okanagan who are running out of money for food.
Last week the number of clients exceeded the available time slots for pickup, so the food bank is adding a shift on Saturday and expanding its weekday hours, to meet the current demand.
“People are really hurting right now. A lot of brand new people are coming to us and they’re emotional, and they’re kind of flabbergasted that they have to use the food bank, but they have nowhere else to turn,” Moss adds.
Peter Boyd, the owner of Peter’s Your Independent Grocer, says he’s also hearing about the struggles, even for people who have full-time jobs. He’s urging shoppers to give what they can.
“Diapers are essential. They’re expensive, and to be able to hand those out to the parents is great. Canned goods–the soups, the beans, and not just brown beans but the Garbanzo beans or some of the other healthy beans. The navy beans, pintos. Different ones like that are all an added bonus because they have good protein in them.”
You can also donate at the checkout. Every dollar purchases $3 worth of supplies for food bank clientele.