New Salvation Army Food Bank manager Trina Jiggins says she is excited about some of the initiatives they are working on.
The food bank, based in French Creek, helps more than 400 families a month and the number continues to grow, she said.
Jiggins, who moved to the area from North Vancouver 10 years ago, started as a volunteer in the soup kitchen five years ago and has worked in many aspects of the organization since.
“When I was a kid my mom used to take me down to Hastings Street and we made sandwiches for the homeless and gave them blankets,” she said. “She raised me to know there were people out there that were worse off than us and to reach out.”
She said that attitude carried into her adult life and merged with efforts like the soup kitchen and, among other roles, she managed the Salvation Army’s cold weather emergency shelter.
She was hired full time a year-and-a-half ago and was the volunteer food bank supervisor when manager Lisa Clason moved on to work at the SOS in June.
Jiggins said they are looking to fill the m,anager’s position, but meanwhile she has taken on some of Clason’s responsibilities and is overseeing “projects that I’m passionate about spearheading.”
Those include things like developing more cold storage and sorting space for an expected increase in fresh foods, both from private gardeners and local farms, as well as grocery stores.
Jiggins said she is excited about re-purposing grocery store food, giving the example that grocery stores toss milk three days before the expiry date, but food banks are allowed to give it out up to 10 days after the date.
She said she knows the local stores are willing to donate food, pointing out one currently donates produce to the closing World Parrot Refuge.
Watch The NEWS for more on local food banks and related issues next week.
For more information or to donate call 250-248-8794 or stop at the food bank at 886 Wembley Road in French Creek. The food bank is open Tuesdays and Thursdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment at 250-248-8793.