Jaye Murray, manager of Sources’ South Surrey Food Bank. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Sources Food Bank issues plea for donations amid COVID-19 crisis

Pick-up process adapted to maintain two-metre separation

As many Semiahmoo Peninsula residents find themselves out of work – and conserving their resources – due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sources Food Bank has issued a plea for donations of both food and cash.

Jaye Murray, manager of Sources food bank in White Rock/South Surrey, said that while it’s unclear at this point how sharply demand for service will rise in the coming weeks, donations to grocery-store bins have already dropped noticeably.

On Monday, Sources issued a request on its Facebook page for donations of rice, oats, canned meat and tuna – as well as other shelf-stable proteins – along with fresh and canned fruits and vegetables, powdered milk, sandwich-sized Ziploc bags and size 5 and 6 diapers.

Speaking with Peace Arch News Thursday morning (March 26), Murray said the food bank experienced a bit of a lull in demand last week. However, she noted, there are a couple likely reasons for that.

Uncertain whether they would be able to remain open, Sources provided clients with double the usual amount of food the previous week, she said.

“We let them know they didn’t have to come in (this week) in case we had to shut down, which we didn’t.”

In addition, it is “cheque week,” when demand for food is usually down, Murray said.

That can all change swiftly, she acknowledged.

“With everyone being laid off, it will depend on how quickly they can get support from the government.”

In White Rock/South Surrey, she said the food bank – which provides support to more than 600 registered clients – served about a dozen people this week who aren’t able to register because they lack proof of address. In that case, there are special walk-in bags available.

“We don’t send them away without food.”

READ ALSO: B.C. bans ‘shameful black market’ of food, medical supplies

READ ALSO: Letter: Disturbing side-effect of panic-buying is wasted food

The way regular clients are being served has changed as well, with new safety measures in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Traditionally, people are able to come into the food bank and choose from a selection of items.

In an effort to minimize contact and maintain a two-metre distance, Sources staff have pre-bagged items for the week and people line up to collect them.

“It looks like a drive-thru here,” Murray quipped of the new process.

“Everyone is really understanding (about the shift). I think they just appreciate that we’re still giving out food.”

With many volunteers having booked off, which, Murray said, is understandable, Sources staff have stepped up to handle the bagging process.

Drivers are continuing to make the rounds of area grocery stores to collect donations, so Murray is asking donors to give at the stores rather than bring items directly to the food bank.

Monetary donations in the form of online donations or mailed cheques are also welcome.

Help is also on the way from the province, which announced late last week that food banks across British Columbia will receive emergency funding worth $3 million.

The provincial government said in a release that Food Banks BC will distribute the money among food banks province-wide because of its expertise in the management of food distribution.

The money is intended to help buy and distribute food, pay employees and cover other costs essential to the delivery of their food programs.

“Food Banks BC will assess the needs and requirements of food banks to determine the amount and timing of the distribution,” reads a government release.

“Funds will be distributed quickly and equitably to food banks across all regions of the province.”

Starting this week, distribution hours at Sources in South Surrey-White Rock will change. They will be Tuesdays, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m and Wednesdays, 10 a.m. 2 p.m.

– files from Wolf Depner, Black Press Media



editorial@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusFood Bank

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Police ask for help finding driver after hit-and-run hurts 18-year-old pedestrian

Featured as Crime Stoppers ‘Crime of the Week,’ crash happened in 7400 block of 140th Street on June 5

Councillor Doug Elford Surrey’s acting mayor during McCallum’s “health concern” absence

Mayor issued a statement Tuesday night saying he’ll be back on the job by Monday

‘That night was so much fun’: Surrey-raised comedian in ‘New Wave of Standup’ series

Comedy clubs are still a no-go for Matty Vu, who grew up in Whalley

Delta man charged with arson in relation to New Year’s Day fire in Tsawwassen

The blaze at 5405 12th Ave. destroyed a building containing two dentist offices and a music school

South Surrey crash victim honoured by KPU for ‘determination and strength’

Elgin Park Secondary graduate wrote book detailing recovery from 2007 car crash

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

Sunflower Highway, art initiative to connect Fraser Valley, Thompson-Nicola and Okanagan

Sunflowers made out of reclaimed materials will be installed on public art trails

B.C. tent camps persist as hotels, housing bought for homeless

Current estimate 40 camps, homeless counts stalled by COVID-19

VIDEO: Trio of orphaned Alberta grizzly bear cubs find new home at Vancouver zoo

The Alberta cubs’ mother was killed by hunters and would have otherwise been euthanized, zoo says

VIDEO: Racist ‘cotton’ comment by B.C. student generates outrage online, response by school

Administrator says ‘no doubt that implicit and overt discrimination is present’ in schools

Recent COVID-19 hotspots show ‘cases can reemerge at anytime’ in Canada, feds warn

Njoo said the recent increase in reproductive number brings home the importance of watching for outbreaks

Most Read