Food bank demand is way up

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

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.



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