Skip to content

Mayor urges 'we cannot wait any longer' for second Delta food bank

City councillors say no family should go to bed hungry and services are needed throughout the community
delta, bc food insecurity food bank north delta
Mayor George Harvie the city needs to come up with options quickly when it comes to food insecurity in North Delta.

Food insecurity is only getting worse as many Delta families face escalating food prices and growing uncertainty, says Mayor George Harvie, who has directed city staff to look into establishing a temporary food bank in North Delta.

At its April 11 meeting, council endorsed a motion by Harvie to investigate where an emergency food bank can be established in North Delta, something he said needs to be done as soon as possible.

South Delta has a permanent food bank but North Delta, which has a larger population than Ladner and Tsawwassen combined, has none.

The plan is to work with community partners and others, including Deltassist, for a temporary food bank, as well as work on longer-term solutions to address food insecurity.

Earlier this year, council agreed to submit an application for funding to the UBCM Poverty Reduction Planning and Action program for Delta to hire a part-time poverty reduction coordinator for one year to address poverty and food insecurity issues in Delta

The city late last year began undertaking a poverty needs assessment in advance of developing a new Poverty Reduction Action Plan.

In partnership with LevelUp Planning Collaborative, the assessment includes a survey of Delta residents to identify various issues.

That report is to come to council this spring.

A Delta staff report last year noted food insecurity is directly related to income in that the lower the household or individual income, the higher the risk of food insecurity.

The Delta poverty reduction strategy is to help the city consolidate poverty reduction work that has already been undertaken by various departments, conduct a comprehensive examination of community needs, as well as develop and expand community partnerships.

Harvie said while the city has had several excellent reports, implementing measures to help address the situation takes time.

“We can’t wait any longer. Our people in North Delta do not have a food bank like South Delta does. We need to do more and we need to do it now. We cannot wait another 10-to-12 months,” said Harvie.

Currently, a North Delta food bank is a Surrey Food Bank satellite site and has been in operation for more than 12 years.

That site is open every second Tuesday at the Northside Community Church.

A Delta staff report last year noted that according to the Surrey Food Bank, it has the capacity to provide food at its satellite location for up to 150 families, while up to 200 Delta families are accessing food programs in Surrey every week.