With an extra two weeks of unplanned summer vacation after teachers in B.C. announced continuing job action, the Sidney Lions Food Bank is sending out a plea for any kind of kid-friendly staples.
“We’ve just been going through the basic items like crazy,” explained the food bank’s administrator, Bev Elder.
“Because there was the extra two weeks with the kids at home we noticed an increase in usage then and haven’t been able to catch up,” she said, adding that she’s even seen a few teachers using the resource in order to feed their families.
Elder said the food bank normally sees a decline in donations this time of year but their client numbers also go down slightly in the summer so it’s usually not an issue. But not this year.
“We’re still seeing steady client numbers and we need the same amount of donations that we get at other times of year in order to keep up with the demand,” she explained.
A handful of fundraisers over the last month have helped, she said, but cash donations always go to purchasing fresh food because of the food bank’s discount.
“We can stretch the dollar value farther so we tend to buy expensive items with cash donations like eggs, milk, cheese, meat and fresh fruit and vegetables,” she said.
Right now, Elder said the most important items the food bank is in need of is anything that can stretch a meal or that can be used as snacks.
“Things like canned veg, soup, pasta, peanut butter, snacks for kids, cereal and also personal hygiene items like toilet paper, toothbrushes and toothpaste are all things we’re almost out of,” Elder said.
The easiest way to donate, she continued, is to simply drop by food or personal hygiene items to the food bank in Iroquois Park (just past the corner of Fifth Street and Ocean Avenue) between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday to Friday.
“All the large grocery stores on the Saanich Peninsula also have donations bins which get emptied daily so people can drop food there as well,” she said.
Those who are unsure of what types of items to purchase can always call Elder at the food bank at 250-655-0679 or visit www.sidneyfoodbank.com to donate online.