Comox Valley Food Bank president Jeff Hampton in the bank's storeroom. Photo by Troy Landreville/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio
COURTENAY, B.C. – Even in the dog days of summer, the community’s generosity shines through at the Comox Valley Food Bank.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a constant need for donations to help feed hungry folks and families in Courtenay and Comox.
Food Bank president Jeff Hampton has been involved with the food bank almost since its inception – he started volunteering with the organization in January 1984, two weeks after it opened its doors.
Hampton has seen the hills and valleys associated with running a charity organization and says corporate and community support has been vital in keeping the food bank stable.
“This year, we’ve increased our refrigeration capacity and as a result of that, the stores have come on board and are giving us numerous donations,” said Hampton, who took the reins as the food bank’s president in 2006.
Volunteers sorted through donations at the Comox Valley Food Bank on Tuesday morning.
Photo by Troy Landreville/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio
Grants from Foods Bank BC and Food Banks Canada has enabled the Comox Valley Food Bank to install a refrigeration system that allows it to take in more perishable foods for distribution.
However, summer is traditionally a slow time of the year, Hampton said, with a lot of the regular contributors heading off on vacation.
“There are ups and downs with everything,” Hampton said.
Hampton said the food banks doors are open to anyone, whether they’re donating or need a helping hand.
“Anybody’s eligible to use the food bank if they express the need… (and) anybody can donate to us,” Hampton said. “We take all manner of perishable food, non-perishable food, and we do take cash donations and we buy food to put into our hampers.”
The food bank can always use donations of funds, and fresh fruits and vegetables, including produce grown in backyard gardens.
“We can always use donations,” Hampton said. “It’s an ongoing need and we try to supply everybody as best as we can.
The lifeblood for the food bank is its volunteers. Roughly three dozen helpers help out each week, helping serve between 1,200 and 1,500 clients every month.
The Comox Valley Food Bank is located at Unit 1, 1491 McPhee Ave.
Hours are Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday: 9:30 a.m. to noon, and Friday: 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Food hampers are distributed on Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.