Helping fight hunger on the Saanich Peninsula

Sidney Lions Food Bank heading into notoriously ‘lean’ months.

  • Jan. 30, 2015 2:00 p.m.

Sidney Lions Food Bank secretary Tricia Galbraith

It all started with a bake sale, says Gloria MacLucas.

A smile lit up her face as she watched her husband, John MacLucas, chairperson of the B.C. Government Retired Employees Association, present a still-growing collection of donations to Tricia Galbraith, secretary of the Sidney Lions Food Bank on Tuesday afternoon at the St. Andrews Anglican church hall.

“We started with a bake sale,” Gloria says again, “and then the branch wanted to make a donation to top up the bake sale to $250.”

Members then wanted to make individual donations, and so the pot grew.

“Then one member wanted to top it up to $300,” she continues.

Members were even pulling out their chequebooks and change purses as Galbraith answered questions about the food bank’s operations at the presentation.

The final count was skewed by a jumble of last minute donations, but all ‘round it came in at well over $300, not including the bags of non-perishables that members had brought in.

When asked what it means for the food bank to have community groups like the BCGREA support them, Galbraith instantly replies, “Everything. Without the donations coming through the door, we would have an even harder time doing the job we do.”

And especially with the holidays over, the shelves at the food bank have a tendency to fall a little bare.

“In the next three or four months, we’re coming into one of the less flush times. Now is a really good time for people to be aware that this is a great time to donate.”

Cash is always needed, as the food bank has double purchasing power at many of the grocery stores in town. But tangible items are welcomed too.

She emphasizes no donation is ever too small. Three cans of tomato paste mean three families can make spaghetti where they couldn’t before, said Galbraith. She also recalls an older couple who made the trek down to the food bank, each with a toonie in hand, pressing a hand to her chest as she describes the moment.

“We’re in such an incredible community. People really go all out here.”

Established in 1984, the Sidney Food Bank distributes over $410,000 worth of food every year to the community with the help of over 60 volunteers.

For more information or to donate to the Sidney Lions Food Bank, visit sidneyfoodbank.com, or drop off donations at 9586 Fifth Street, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The food bank is closed the last week of the month.

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