The South Delta Food Bank is experiencing an outpouring of support as community members look to help others get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The community has been amazing,” says coordinator Joe van Essen. “Usually at Christmas we get a lot of donations but this is like Christmas two times over.”
He says donations have been coming from all corners of Delta as companies, organizations and individuals are all looking to lend a hand.
“It’s unbelievable,” says van Essen. “You can’t live in a better community if you have to go to a food bank.”
Housed at Lighthouse Church in Ladner, the food bank hasn’t seen an increase in clients during the pandemic, and continues to serve in the neighbourhood of 80 families every Wednesday. Van Essen says anyone who has been laid off as a result of COVID-19 is welcome.
The food bank has modified its operations to limit the number of volunteers on distribution day by having them do much of the prep work ahead of time, which means the usual volunteer complement of about 16 has been cut in half on Wednesdays. It has also unofficially extended its hours to space out clients, again in an effort to avoid crowds gathering.
“We used to have a lineup when we opened so now if people come earlier we help them out,” says van Essen. “That’s working really well.”
The food bank has been helping the Delta School District fill hampers for families in need during the pandemic, although van Essen says those just contain dry goods, so families are better off coming to the food bank where they’ll also receive fresh items like fruit and vegetables, meat and milk.
The food bank is still accepting both cash and food donations. Monetary donations can be made online at southdeltafoodbank.org, dropped off at Lighthouse Church at 5545 Ladner Trunk Rd. or cheques can be mailed. Food can be dropped off at bins in local grocery stores.
The food bank is open every Wednesday from 9 to 11 a.m.