Food bank demand is way up

Need is always there, but at Christmas it's particularly harsh

Salvation Army food bank volunteers Irene Strand

Salvation Army food bank volunteers Irene Strand

From January to November, there were 331 more families needing help make ends meet in District 69 than in 2010.

Major Rolf Guenther of the Parksville Salvation Army said over that same time frame, they gave out 3,973 hampers of food, each lasting about a week. They reach between 350 and 400 families of various walks of life — from the destitute to working poor.

And while December is the busiest time of year for donations of food and money, Guenther said helping people just doesn’t stop after December 25.

“A month from now, the supply of food dries up,” he said.

That’s why he is hoping people get the message that people in need don’t just vanish after Christmas. The holidays do shore up the food bank shelves, he said, and he hopes the spirit of giving rubs off on enough people, so they keep it up all year long.

“Those donations help us help the needy.”

To that end, Guenther and his crew of staff and volunteers work hard to keep the food and cash donations coming in. For the most part, the community has responded well.

Various local businesses, organizations and individuals spread out their giving, while this month keeps Guenther going from place to place to collect the donations from various community efforts.

“Chrismtas is a high time,” he said. “People think of toys for the children and turkeys for the family, but the day after Christmas, we are still here.”

Volunteers are still needed for the Kettle campaign, he continued. People can call 250-248-8793 to fill one of the vacancies.

Guenther added donations do stay local, to support the food bank and other Salvation Army programs for people in need.


To find out more, call 250-248-8793.



Just Posted

The Arrowsmith Search and Rescue Society has outgrown its home at the Coombs-Hilliers Fire Department and will soon move to its new operations hall at the Qualicum Beach Airport. (PQB News file photo)
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is one of the organizations approved for a grant-in-aid by the Town of Qualicum Beach. (PQB News file photo)
COVID-19: Town of Qualicum Beach awards $80K in relief funds to community groups

Pandemic has put a financial strain on many organizations

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Parksville Civic and Technology Centre at 100 Jensen Ave. (PQB News file photo)
Parksville council receives letter from B.C.’s health minister regarding free prescription contraception

Letter was in response to Parksville’s support for universal no-cost measure

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Most Read