Local food bank volunteers are organizing ways to keep the food banks stocked with essential supplies while limiting contact between volunteers and donors.
Virginia Frazer who helps out at the Second Harvest Food Bank said she has seen stocks of food getting lower and demand increasing every week as more people rely on the food bank’s services amidst numerous layoffs due to the COVID-19 virus.
While Second Harvest is still taking donations at their downtown Salmon Arm location, Frazer said some donors are concerned about coming into contact with people. As a solution that still keeps the donations flowing, Frazer helped organized a donation point at the Five Corners Pentecostal Church on Saturday, April 4. Following the success of the last food drive, another one is being organized for April 18. The drive will benefit both the Second Harvest and Salvation Army Food Banks. Drop-offs will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Frazer said efforts are being made to limit exposure between donors and volunteers. An outdoor table will be available for donations to be dropped off with volunteers sitting far back from it. Frazer said that donations are held for several days before being made available at the food bank in order to ensure any virus on them has time to die.
Items that are in especially high demand include canned soup and beans, cereal, oatmeal and pasta. Frazer said snack foods such as granola bars are also important because families that relied on meal programs at schools are now having to feed children at home. Toilet paper is also in high demand.