On a recent visit to the Campbell River Food Bank, manager Debbie Willis is beaming. An incoming donation and what it will mean for food banks across Vancouver Island is responsible.
Ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, around the end of March, Mowi Canada West committed to supporting North Island food banks including Campbell River and Port Hardy. Each week they’ve partnered with Port Hardy’s Hardy Buoys to package and distribute 1,000 pounds of frozen Atlantic salmon fillets.
The latest donation even included a new product: salmon jerky. The jerky is a recent addition to the weekly donations. Based on feedback from the food banks, that a shelf-stable product would be useful, said Mowi Canada West Communications Manager Chris Read. Since some people may not know how to properly prepare frozen salmon, or even have the means to cook it, the jerky variation is useful.
“It’s nice to be able to give back,” said Diane Morrison, managing director of Mowi Canada West who was on hand Tuesday for a quick photo op.
The donation is split between the Port Hardy and Campbell River food banks, with the latter receiving about 600 pounds each week.The salmon is a welcome addition to the Campbell River Food Bank’s Campbellton warehouse, where donations are accepted, sorted and distributed to approximately 2,000 clients each month.
“We have been so lucky,” she says in regards to donations the last few months.
The pandemic has brought food security into the spotlight.
“Food banks and soup kitchens in our community play such an important role at typical times, and that has only increased now,” said Read in an email. “We feel a sense of responsibility to be part of the solution by stepping up and providing what help we can – in our case, salmon. We will continue doing whatever it takes to help our communities through this unprecedented time.
Willis had been sharing the Campbell River nonprofit’s good fortune with fellow food banks on Vancouver Island when they asked: “what salmon?”
So with permission from Mowi Canada West, Willis set up a network to share those donations with food banks down-Island. The network went live last week and she anticipates more than 10 food banks will benefit.
The Campbell River Food Bank is open for donations between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Distribution days are the first three Wednesdays of each month from noon to 3 p.m. It’s also open for smaller handouts Monday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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