Low on the staples

Lower number of food donations to the Sidney Lions Food Bank

Sidney Lions Food Bank Administrator Bev Elder holds up a can of condensed soup — a staple item the food bank doesn’t normally run out of this early in the year.

A recent community barbecue spearheaded by Sidney town councillor Kenny Podmore and sponsored by Thrifty Foods and Slegg Lumber raised $3,400 for the Sidney Lions Food Bank — something that will help the food bank fill shelves that are unusually bare for this time of year.

“We have had to purchase more food in the last three months than we’ve had to in the last five years at least,” said Bev Elder, the food bank administrator this week.

“For the first time in at least five years, we’ve run out of what we call Christmas Soup, which is the huge number of canned soups that come in over Christmas, in July. Christmas Soup is normally the one thing we’re left with this time of year when the other items on the shelves are getting sparse.”

Elder also noted the food bank is unusually low on other staple items like basic pasta, rice and baking ingredients.

She attributes the lack of food on their shelves not to increased use of the community service, whose levels have remained steady over the last year, but rather to fewer donations of actual food items coming into the food bank.

“It’s fantastic to have the money coming in from fundraising like the Community Barbecue. We appreciate that so much and it allows us to buy fresh staples like milk, eggs and cheese.

“But we also rely on food donations, like canned soup coming into the food bank as well,” she said.

The Sidney Lions Food Bank serves 1,100 Peninsula-based clients a month, 39 per cent of whom are children under 16 and 12 per cent who are seniors 65 and older.

If you are interesting in donating to the Sidney Lions food bank, drop offs can be made directly to the food bank at 9586 Fifth St. (in Iroquois Park). Call 250-655-0679 for more information.