The Comox Valley Food Bank continues to serve the community. (Vista stock photo)
The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t stopping the Comox Valley Food Bank from feeding the community.
President Mitch Moncrieff shot down social media rumours that it’s closing due to a lack of resources.
“We’re open to serve people that need food from 9:30(am) to noon, five days a week,” he said. “We always have a stockpile of food that we can draw on.”
He added that the amount of donations that the food bank has received over the past week has been “astounding.”
“The restaurants are closing down, Mt. Washington, some other businesses have been very generous. We have a lot of produce right now and people are welcome to come in within our operating hours and get some food if they need it.”
If you are going to the food bank for help, be prepared for a bit of a wait because only three clients are allowed in the building at one time.
Moncrieff said they’re taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of the virus, so the line is slower than it normally is: “We’re distancing from the volunteers to the clients, two metres, so that means the client does not touch any of the food. The volunteers pick the food, and put it in a box or a bag for the client and they pick it up at the end of the table.”
He said they’re also adapting the way they are accepting donations.
“We’ll have a table so people can drop the food products off there, and then we’ll go out and pick them up so we won’t have to actually make contact with people, but we will still appreciate any donations up to 1:30 or 2 o’clock in the afternoon.”
The food bank will be open as long as the grocery stores stay open, Moncrieff vowed: “We do purchase from all the retailers, potatoes, carrots, onions, apples, oranges, bananas. So all those staples we can provide fresh from the stores fresh from the stores, with the cash that’s given to us, and our drivers go out and pick up daily donations from the stores, as well.”
Anything you want to donate, will get handed out, he said.
“We don’t have a huge stockpile but part of the duties of our managers is to make sure we have everything in when it’s needed.”
The food bank has had roughly 2,000 visits a month this year but Moncrief expects that number to go up as the pandemic crisis unfolds.
“We’re anticipating quite a large bump in the number of visits because the food that people have in their houses will start running out and if they’ve lost their job or anything like that, we are a viable option and we can help sustain low-income people, that’s what we do.”
The food bank is at 1491 McPhee Avenue. Click here to visit its website.