Lakes District Food Bank: demand continues to increase

The stigma that surrounds food bank use is decreasing, and there has been a 32 per cent increase in food bank use in B.C. since 2008. 

Volunteers work at the Lakes District Food Bank. There has been a 32 per cent increase in food bank use in B.C. since 2008. 

Volunteers work at the Lakes District Food Bank. There has been a 32 per cent increase in food bank use in B.C. since 2008. 

The promise of a well-paying job enticed Janice (name changed to protect privacy) to Burns Lake in the spring of 2013.

For Janice, it was a chance for a new beginning in a new town, but when the job fell through, the bills started piling up. The explosion at Babine Forest Products was still fresh in people’s minds and jobs in the community were hard to find.

Despite handing out resumes all over town, Janice was unable to find work. With her savings gone and nowhere else to turn, she looked to social assistance and the Lakes District Food Bank.

“I saw people in the food bank line up that I had seen them around town,” she said. “These were the same people who were looking for work with me.”

Janice said she wanted to do more for the community.

“I am not the type of person that sits in an arm chair with a remote control and thinks it is going to be okay tomorrow,” she said. “I have to have my feet on the ground and my hands in the mess.”

Janice started volunteering and doing what she could to help. She is one of over 40 community members who are volunteering their time at the food bank this year.

Jobs include data management, shopping, cleaning, re-packaging food, transportation and packing food boxes.

Candice Little, food bank coordinator, credits the success of the food bank to the volunteers.

“There is a lot to be done, and without the volunteers there would be no food bank.”

The stigma that surrounds food bank use is decreasing, and there has been a 32 per cent increase in food bank use in B.C. since 2008.

Here in Burns Lake, the Lakes District Food Bank is open twice a month and more than 80 boxes of food are distributed at a time. This works out to over 75,000 pounds of food distributed every year to the working poor, the elderly, and families with children.

Sixty per cent of the food bank’s budget comes from grants and corporations, while the remainder comes from private individuals in the community who donate money and food every month. Cash donations are used to purchase needed items and fill gaps in the food that is generously donated.

During the 2016 holiday spirit funding drive, running until Dec. 31, the Lakes District Food Bank is hoping to raise a total of $32,000.

Little says this is an achievable goal.

“We have a very generous community and we have already raised $14,000.”

Today, Janice is off social assistance, holds down three different part-time jobs and still volunteers at the food bank.

There are times when she needs some extra help and receives a food box, but this week she is also donating.

“I have food in my cupboard that I’m not eating,” she said. “When I go down to the food bank next week I will be bringing a box of food to donate – there are other people who need it more than I do.”

If you are interested in being a part of the food security solution here in Burns Lake, please make a tax-deductible donation or volunteer your time by contacting Candice Little at 250-251-1466. For more information, visit


Just Posted

First farmer's market Burns Lake 2021. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Community Market 2021 begins in Burns Lake

Burns Lake & District Chamber of Commerce’s community market, which has received… Continue reading

Garden woodchips. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Greenhouse progress in Burns Lake

The Burns Lake Community Garden have a huge pile of woodchips, rough… Continue reading

The Beacon Theatre roof project will ensure the theatre’s roof can handle the snow loads and stay open during winter months. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Rood replacement for Beacon Theatre begins

Theatre to remain closed until August

BVCU. (File photo)
Bulkley Valley Credit Union announces finalists for legacy project donation

Community can vote for one of the three finalists from each area

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Most Read