The 100 Mile House Food Bank will cut its opening hours and only offer “perishable days” once a week due to increasing demand and limited supplies.
Food Bank president Danny Williams said the food bank has seen a steady increase in demand over the past two years following a downturn in the forestry sector, the COVID-19 pandemic and this year’s wildfire season. The recent flooding in the Lower Mainland has exacerbated the situation with new clients seeking help after finding local grocery shelves bare last week.
“Now with these terrible washouts and flooding closing highways, the Cariboo has been effectively cut off from our main source of food donations, our local grocers,” Williams said. “They have been incredible and doing their best to make sure that anything that they can spare comes our way, but when they are short stocked, we are short stocked.”
While the food bank has ordered food for the holiday season, Williams said they will be scrambling to rebuild their stocks after the present crisis is over.
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As a result, starting Dec. 1, the food bank’s opening hours will change from Monday to Friday to Monday, Wednesday and Friday for walk-in services from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Clients will also only be able to pick up perishable items like fruit and vegetables once, rather than twice, a week due to the low supply.
“Our volunteers will continue to do our pickups from all participating grocers/businesses every day of the week. The reduced daily distributions from five days per week to three days per week will allow us to build enough stock to create a better offering when folks come in,” Williams said.
This measure will likely be in place for some time, Williams said, until they can meet the demand.
Meanwhile, hamper days will continue on the first and third Tuesdays of every month. Cash donations are always appreciated and Williams said he is grateful to those who have helped the food bank over the past few weeks.
“The one thing we have seen a lot of is kindness and an incredible sense of community. I want to thank the public and businesses of 100 Mile House and the surrounding areas for pulling together and supporting one another,” he said. “Their generosity and sense of civic duty ensure that our most vulnerable don’t fall through the cracks.”