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Campbell River Food Bank manager sees tough road ahead of the holidays

Uptick in renters, double income families and seniors relying on Food Bank

Demand for the food bank’s service has skyrocketed this month.

With an increase of 600 clients just in November alone, the demand for the food bank has now reached 3,000 clients to distribute to, as the economic crunch forces individuals to squeeze their pocket book, and look for alternate methods to feed themselves.

READ MORE: Spring Food Drive directly helps local food bank

“It’s continuing to increase as the city grows larger,” said Food Bank manager Joanne Watson. “Individuals that have families, that have to access it that have never accessed it before. it’s going to increase simply out of necessity, into the holidays and into 2023, and beyond.”

The statement paints a very alarming picture: inflation rates have skyrocketed around the country, with food prices one thing that is out of reach for some. At one point, it was only less fortunate families. Now, Watson says she sees individuals from all walks of life.

“Renters, families with two incomes, seniors,” says Watson. “Even new immigrants who have arrived from Ukraine. I have seen demand become almost diversified. We’re going to need the public’s help.”

Walking through the food bank, the staff is small and mighty. A typical day involves deliveries and pick-ups, with the food bank getting a helping hand from various local stores, including Wal-Mart, Save-on Foods, Real Canadian Superstore, and London Drugs.

“We typically have stores that will donate food, in some cases covers and pillows,” says Watson. “Every little bit is important. Once a week, we’ll even drive to Courtenay (to Costco). They have been a big help.”

Indeed, but the volunteer staff has run very thin. Short on volunteers, Watson hopes that the holiday season will bring newcomers to the operation saying, “Anyone that wants to volunteer, please take a look.”

The operating days for the Food Bank are Monday to Friday, with distribution days being the third Wednesday of each month, from 10 AM-3 PM. For pickups, you may visit the Food Bank between 10 AM- 1 PM. If you would like to Volunteer, visit the Food Bank’s website www.campbellriverfoodbank.comhereor call 250-286-3226.

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