Bev Elder

Charity best before due date

Food bank opens its door in order for residents ‘to see what we do’

Twice a month volunteers at the Sidney Lions Food Bank vie for a gift card, seeking out the oldest of expired items donated to their pantry. Unfortunately, they find plenty, said Bev Elder, executive director.

Recently they raised 22 pallets of food through the Latter Day Saints Thanksgiving food drive. Of the six already sorted, two pallets worth of donated goods are destined for the trash.

“Some of the dates are unbelievable,” Elder said. “These guys are really keeping up on outdated stuff and open products. We have to follow such high food safe standards, we just can’t give that out.”

It also means spending cash to send items to the landfill.

“That’s money I’d rather spend on nutritious food,” Elder said.

In a bid for further transparency, and inspired by a visit to Sooke food bank, the Sidney Lions Food Bank hosts its first open house Saturday.

“Our community is so supportive and trusts and believes in us. I thought we’d invite them in to see what we do and how we do it,” she said.

Sidney Lions Food Bank Society directors and volunteers will be on hand to walk guests through the client process. They currently serve 326 households, or 990 clients across the Saanich Peninsula.

Visit sidneylionsfoodbank.com to learn more about how to donate in person and online. The open house is Saturday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m 9586 Fifth St. in Sidney, adjacent to Iroquois Park.

Annual Barney Bentall concert benefits local food bank

Tickets are on sale now for the annual Barney Bentall and the Cariboo Express concert.

They’re also on the lookout for sponsors.

The concert, with two shows Nov. 19 and 20 at the Mary Winspear Centre, raised $15,000 for the local charity last year. That was matched by Bentall’s Hawthorn foundation. Tickets are available at the Mary Winspear Centre, 250-656-0275.

To learn more about sponsorship call Elder at 250-655-0679 or email fdbank@telus.net.