The shelves at the Sidney Lions Food Bank are looking pretty full but Administrator Bev Elder said that by the end of the month most of the stockpile will be gone.
“The shelves are definitely starting to fill up but we’re anticipating filling up close to 500 Christmas hampers this year, so basically everything that has come and that will be coming in will go out again right away,” she explained.
According to Elder the food bank serves 1,100 Peninsula-based clients a month, 39 per cent of whom are children under 16 and 12 per cent of whom are seniors 65 and older.
And although the organization is expecting more food in in the coming weeks through the firefighters food drives (Dec. 15) and the Stuff the Bus campaign (Dec. 16), Elder said there are always staple items they run out of this time of year.
“The firefighters food drive and the Stuff the Bus are huge and we also have tons of drop-off bins around local businesses that will come in too,” Elder explained. “But no matter what we always seem to run low on staples, especially things like Kraft Dinner and jam.”
Elder also noted the food bank is always low on fresh produce like carrots, potatoes and onions and also personal hygiene items like toothpaste, toothbrushes and bars of soap.
“Those aren’t always items people think to donate,” she said.
Volunteers will be working long hours in the next two weeks getting the hampers ready and pick up will occur right before the holidays.
“Pick up day for singles getting hampers will be on the 17th of the month and families can come on the 18th, 19th and 20th,” Elder said, adding that staggering the pick-up dates helps lessen the load on the volunteers at the food bank.
“I’m so lucky to have not only a great core group of about 30 or 35 volunteers here all year but also a great group that always come in for the Christmas season,” Elder said. “Without them, we wouldn’t be able to keep up.”
If you’re interested in donating to the Sidney Lions Food Bank, drop offs can be made directly to the food bank at 9586 Fifth Street (in Iroquois Park) or call 250-655-0679 for more information.