Pictured here at the Lakes District Food Bank’s celebration of one year in its new location are volunteers Angie Pollok (left to right), Jane Martens, Zoe Gray, coordinator Candice Little and Joanna Carnie, who helped start the bank in 2001. (Blair McBride photo)

Lakes District Food Bank celebrates one year in new location

The Lakes District Food Bank in Burns Lake celebrated on Nov. 29 its one-year anniversary in its new location.

The 788 Centre Street spot, across from the hospital hosted an open house, served snacks and acknowledged its donors by posting signed leaves on the bank’s Sharing Tree.

Much has changed since last November, namely the physical layout of the bank where some walls were removed to free up more space inside.

Renovations also include the addition of check-out and service counters, where meals are served.

“On Tuesdays and Thursdays we serve hot meals while people wait for their shopping and so they can visit with people,” food bank coordinator Candice Little told Lakes District News.

A more important, but less visible change is the attitude of customers.

“This year I’ve noticed people aren’t in and out. They aren’t anxious to leave. They like to sit down and talk,” Little explained.

“[And] because of that there’s been more opportunities. For example, a paramedic did two lessons on CPR that were really well-received.”

In addition to its regular food distribution, for which it spends $8,000-$10,000 per month on groceries, the bank plans to expand its services to the community.

“We’re hoping to open a cooking program to help people be able to stretch their shopping more,” Little said.

In the spring, it plans to work with the library to hold workshops on planting and gardening.

READ MORE: Burns Lake’s food bank builds Community Kitchen Garden

However, the bank’s enhanced service has also seen a rise in people seeking food.

Pointing to data sheets, Little showed figures from July 2017 to June 2018 of a 23 per cent increase in customers, from 491 to 628 people.

Of those, 166 were aged under 18 years of age and 67 over 60.

“Forty one per cent of total clients are the most vulnerable,” Little said, adding that many of them represent the ‘working poor’ who have jobs but aren’t earning enough to make ends meet.

Its mobile food bank has also been responding to significant needs since it began last April and has served 61 households since then.

LOOK BACK: Mobile food bank fighting rural poverty

As Christmas approaches, the bank is preparing for its annual Spirit Drive and combines cash donations, an advent collection and a secret Santa (to provide presents to families with children).

This month the food bank will have twice as much food to provide because it has combined with the food hamper program at the mall.

 

The mobile food bank at the Lakes District Food Bank has served hundreds of people since it began operation in April. (Blair McBride photo)

Snacks were served for visitors at the Lakes District Food Bank’s celebration of one year in its new location on 788 Centre Street, on Nov. 29. (Blair McBride photo)

Just Posted

Homemade snow

An RCMP officer in Fraser Lake tossed a cup of boiling water… Continue reading

Government warns of polluted Bulkley Valley air

Recent air quality alerts in the Bulkley Vally - including Burns Lake… Continue reading

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

B.C. hotel trashes Channing Tatum in favour of Ryan Reynolds

Tatum’s picture left in recycling bin, replaced with photo of Ryan Reynolds

B.C. firefighters rescue bear cub stuck up a tree

Family Day was eventful for cub, firefighters

Okanagan ski resort officials displeased with Family Day roll-out

From one peak of the Okanagan to the other, resort officials have raised concerns

B.C. high school robotics team ranked first in the world for programming

The Surrey team was also named tournament finalists at VEX Robotics Competition on Feb. 1

Man shot dead in front of Kamloops hotel may be case of mistaken identity: RCMP

Rex Gill, 44, was not previously known to Kamloops police unlike second shooting victim

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Most Read