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Mayor wants second food bank for Delta

The North Delta community currently has a satellite location operated by the Surrey Food Bank
north delta food bank
There’s a clear need for a permanent food bank in North Delta, says Mayor George Harvie.

The City of Delta will consult with community service providers to look into establishing a permanent food bank within North Delta.

A motion by Mayor George Harvie endorsed by council at its Dec. 13th meeting, directed staff to see what the city can do to support a permanent location.

Harvie told council community volunteers recently reiterated to him the need for a food bank location, a need that’s been around for several years.  

South Delta has a food bank open every Wednesday at the Lighthouse Church property at 5545 Ladner Trunk Road. Other food services include the Delta Food Coalition.

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 earlier this 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.

Delta’s new Social Action Plan recommends more information be made available about food security programs, which is not easily available and leads to underutilization of the local resources.

The report notes the demand for food emergency supports has significantly increased in Delta.

In December 2020, the Delta School District distributed close to 200 food holiday hampers to families, and demand for the Starfish Backpack program in North Delta has increased from 60 backpacks a week in 2019 to 92 in 2020.

However, in 2020/21, only 25-to-40 families were using the North Delta Food Depot, despite the fact that the depot can serve up to 150 families.

Extreme weather shelter

Meanwhile, an extreme weather shelter has recently opened in North Delta.

The city has been working with the Homelessness Services Association of BC (HCABC) and other community organizations to establish a shelter in the community.

The Leadership Council of New Hope Church, located at 11838 88 Ave., offered to provide space and have partnered with Phoenix Society to operate the new facility.

The provision of those services in Delta, Surrey and White Rock is managed by HCABC in collaboration with community groups and municipal staff.

Last winter season, out of a possible 144 nights, the Ladner United Church-based extreme weather shelter was opened 119 times.