Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre is continuing to provide services to the community.
The facility is still open each Tuesday to provide food hampers on a scheduled basis, as it has done in the past.
On March 24, the food bank distributed the hampers from the parking lot rather than from the centre in the basement of Summerland United Church.
In addition, supplementary or emergency food requests may still be made by calling the food bank at 778-516-0015.
John Bubb, president of the food bank society, said the facility has made some changes in order to slow the spread of the virus.
Clients using the computers, showers or laundry facilities are still able to access the centre, but food pickup is now done outside.
Most of the social service agencies which normally attend the resource centre have canceled their schedules for the immediate future. However, many of these agencies are providing remote services. Anyone requiring these services is asked to contact the resource centre for information.
The hours at the centre have been reduced to Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon until further notice.
Bubb said the food bank and resource centre has continued to receive donations of money and food from the community.
“We are in reasonably good shape,” he said. “We’ve had a really strong uptick in the number of donations we’ve received.”
He added that Ingrid Wuensche, a long-time food bank volunteer, has built up relationships with suppliers, who are continuing to provide some of the food the facility needs.
However, Bubb anticipates more homes in Summerland will require the food bank’s services as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
“If this continues on for a long time, we’re anticipating an increase in demand,” he said.
The food bank is seeking donations of canned beans (baked, chickpeas, kidney or medley blend,) canned vegetables (peas, beans, corn or mixed,) liquid laundry soap, toilet paper, diapers and feminine hygiene products.
Donations may be brought to the food bank any weekday morning, and monetary donations can be made in person or online at www.summerlandfoodbank.org.
“For over 35 years the residents of Summerland have been extremely generous with their support to the food bank,” said Hal Roberts, resource coordinator at the centre. “In this time of uncertainty, we know that our community will continue to care for one another.”
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