Vancouver Food Bank expects demand rise, donation drop over summer

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — As our thoughts turn to planning out summer activities, food banks in the Lower Mainland are asking you to keep them in mind.

The coming months are usually when shelves of donated food start running bare, which is why Cynthia Boulter with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank says there’s concern those organizations are about to face a crunch.

“Summer is always a busiest time in terms of need, because kids are out of school, and all of those nutrition programs breakfast, lunch, even weekend backpack programs, those are shut down.

While summer camps and programs would typically help fill that gap, those may not be operating with COVID-19 still a threat.

“[With] kids at home more and they’re hungry [it puts] more pressure on mom and dad to be able to keep that healthy food flowing and if there is job loss involved, it’s that much harder,” Boulter explains.

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So the food bank will be adding children’s programs.

“We have three now, so we think that those will certainly be appreciated over the summer, perhaps more than ever.”

This summer, “more than ever” Boulter is calling on those who can, to donate to families in greater need over the next few months.

“Whether it’s donating money, which is honestly the best thing to do for food banks … So we can buy what we need, and what we want to put in our nutrition programs and what we want to put in our weekly menus really efficiently when people donate what money they can, but you can also volunteer if that’s something that you want to be involved in.”

Boulter adds, they are better equipped than they were a year ago, since they were able to use a large influx of federal cash to beef up refrigeration capacity at the buildings that hand out food.

They’re also coming off the Mayors’ Food Bank Challenge, which raised over half a million dollars last month.

About 8,500 families and individuals access the Greater Vancouver Food Bank each month.

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