In one of their final acts, Army & Navy was still giving back to the community.
The Langley location of the iconic franchise donated a plethora of goods to the Cloverdale Community Kitchen (CCK) at the end of June.
“(Army & Navy) got in touch with me and said, ‘Come down to the store and grab whatever you want,’” said Matthew Campbell, director for the CCK.
So Campbell took his own army over to the department store.
“We brought about 30 people with us and we loaded up tonnes of food and household items.”
Army & Navy also donated a lot of shelving to the CCK.
The Langley location had already shipped most of its higher value items – such as clothes and sporting, camping, and fishing supplies – to the New Westminster store. But Campbell and crew were still left with a lot of stuff to choose from.
Campbell said the items will help out the Community Kitchen and the Fraser Valley Regional Food Bank – a relatively new food bank run by the CCK. The food bank has only officially been open since March 1, but has been operating since December and serves people in Surrey, White Rock, Delta, and Langley.
“This food will help feed low-income families, the elderly, people who’ve lost jobs recently, and (people at) recovery homes.”
The Fraser Valley Regional Food Bank also supports about 100-150 people through partnerships with recovery houses also in Surrey, White Rock, Delta, and Langley.
“They can hardly make it with the money they get,” Campbell told the Cloverdale Reporter earlier this year. “So we give (the recovery houses) food so they can feed the residents in their care.”
He said they supply six recovery houses. One of them, Launching Pad, in turn, supplies some smaller recovery houses.
Campbell said the gift from Army & Navy couldn’t have come at a better time.
“The human need is so great right now. We just can’t keep up.”
That need has forced Campbell to reach out to more suppliers in an effort to get more food. That in turn has forced him to buy two 40-foot refrigerated shipping containers, or reefers.
“The reefers are temporary,” noted Campbell. “Just until things go back to normal and the demand drops. But they will allow us to take in more food and give out more food.”
Those two reefers now occupy a large patch of Pacific Community Church’s parking lot. And with services online only, Campbell has also taken over the church area and is using it for food storage.
“It looks like we have a lot of food, but this will be gone in a few days.”
Campbell said his work over the past few months has been bitter sweet.
“We are trying to find more food and feed more people and help out as much as we can,” he explained. “But I wish the need wasn’t there.”
Until that “need” subsides, Campbell said they’ll keep running flat out.
“We’re going to continue to help out as much as we can.”