David Byers, Salmon Arm Salvation Army community services manager says their food bank is in need of both volunteers and supplies for the coming months. (Martha Wickett/Salmon Arm Observer)

Shuswap food banks size up needs as holidays approach

Everything from fresh produce to hygiene products required to help those in need.

There’s always need at local food banks, and the holiday season is no exception.

Dave Byers from the Salmon Arm Salvation Army said their food bank stocks are low and they will be grateful for donations of just about anything.

“Things just seem to be getting busier and busier and busier,” Byers said.

He noted the food bank’s stockpile is less than it normally is this time of year, as an annual Halloween food drive that helps fill the shelves didn’t happen.

Need for volunteers also increases over the holiday season at the Salvation Army. Byers said helping hands are needed for both the Salvation Army’s kettle campaign and the food bank. He said the food bank usually has 70-80 volunteers on hand for the holidays but only about 50 have signed up so far.

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Byers expressed gratitude for those who donate to the Salvation Army’s food bank, as well as those who make casseroles to feed people spending the night in their Lighthouse Shelter.

The Second Harvest Food bank is on the lookout for produce, particularly of the sort that would compliment a Christmas dinner. A representative of the food bank said they are well stocked with potatoes, carrots and onions, but fresh green vegetables are still needed.

Other items which Second Harvest will be glad to have available to their clients over the Christmas season include desserts, fresh fruit and meat in single-serve portions. Along with food, Second Harvest welcomes donations of hygiene products, but products in smaller packages are preferable because many of the food banks clients are mobile and do not have much storage space.

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The food bank serving the Sicamous area operated by the Eagle Valley Community Support Society is also in need of donations as the holiday season approaches. Jennifer Ribi who works with the support society said donations of non-sugary cereal, peanut butter and other nut butters, canned salmon, tea, coffee, pasta, canned stew and chili, flour, pancake mix and syrup, canned fruit and fresh or frozen meat, would all be welcome.


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