The Sooke Food Bank Society told Sooke city council Monday that it’s projecting to spend $32,000 more compared to 2019 figures. President Kim Metzger said that they’re looking for a bigger space, as they’ve had logistic problems with food storage. (Black Press Media file photo)

The Sooke Food Bank Society told Sooke city council Monday that it’s projecting to spend $32,000 more compared to 2019 figures. President Kim Metzger said that they’re looking for a bigger space, as they’ve had logistic problems with food storage. (Black Press Media file photo)

Sooke Food Bank voices dire need for bigger space

‘We found that we’re not quite prepared,’ says president of volunteer group

If the pandemic’s first wave taught the Sooke Food Bank anything, it was the lesson that they need a bigger space to run their entire operation.

“We’re a group of closets and storage containers,” said president Kim Metzger at a Sooke council meeting on Monday. “The whole logistics of food is the biggest nightmare. We would potentially have more access to food for free if we could store it somewhere. I’m not allowed one more plug in that hall.”

Metzger said they’ve had offers for two more walk-in freezers, but they don’t have enough space at their current location, at Sooke Community Hall, to imagine fitting in anything else.

She said the volunteer group uses small carts or their hands to move items, as they don’t have a pallet lift. With the thousands of pounds of food that the group moves every month and an aging group of volunteers, it looks as though the Sooke Food Bank is at a crossroads.

Coun. Al Beddows voiced his gratitude for the volunteer organization and added that they “work on a shoestring half of the time.”

Looking back, Metzger said the food bank a great year and was able to serve between 600 to 1,000 families a month during the first wave of the pandemic when they usually would have between 300 to 600 families monthly.

She added that although a portion of the food is within the community hall, a large remainder is on the other side of the Sooke River in storage.

“If the bridge was ever to come out due to an emergency, we’ve got issues,” she said.

Metzger said she’s found that due to increased demand, they need three to five months of food supply on hand at any given time versus their six weeks to two months supply they operated with before the pandemic hit.

In 2019, food bank officials spent $278,000 to serve the community. This year, it expects to hit around $310,000 by the time the food bank closes for Christmas.

Coun. Jeff Bateman said that he would be interested in considering a one-time COVID pandemic donation to the Sooke Food Bank, dependent on how much is in council’s contingency funds. The issue could be brought to the next council meeting on Dec. 14.

“It’s been one heck of a year,” Metzger said. “What started as a year where we would decide what we’d want for the future turned out to be a lesson in emergency preparedness. We found that we’re not quite prepared.”

READ MORE: Bakery bakes donated bread just for the Sooke Food Bank

ALSO READ: Sooke food bank sets up new protocols for donations


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Food BankSooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan (left) and Kairry Nguyen on Jan. 27, 2020 after Tenessa Nikirk was found guilty for striking Bui in a Saanich crosswalk. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Driver convicted of dangerous driving after hitting Leila Bui out on bail

Tennesa Nikirk was convicted for striking then 11-year-old Leila Bui with her car

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed as Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

A Cessna 170 airplane similar to the one pictured above is reported to be missing off the waters between Victoria and Washington State. Twitter photo/USCG
UPDATE: No sign of small plane that went down in Juan de Fuca Strait

Searchers out on both sides of border between Victoria and Port Angeles

Victoria police are seeking a young woman suspected of spitting on a bus driver in October 2020. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
VIDEO: Young woman sought after ‘spitting assault’ on Victoria bus driver

Suspect became irate after bus came to a sudden stop

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(B.C. government photo)
POLL: Would you like to see restrictions on travel to B.C. from other provinces?

With a host of more virulent strains of COVID-19 appearing across the… Continue reading

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Most Read