Bev Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Food Bank, accepts a $3,000 cheque from North Saanich’s Rest Haven Adventist Church from church head elder, Rick Wiegel. (Courtesy Rest Haven Adventist Church)

Peninsula organizations fund food bank ahead of ‘looming crisis’

Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank receives more than $5,000 from local organizations

The food bank serving the Saanich Peninsula received $15,000 in monetary donations during the past seven days, according to its executive director, who predicts that the facility will see an increase of 30 per cent in clients, as the economic effects of COVID-19 reverberate

“It’s has been amazing,” said Bev Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank. “We get a lot of people phoning in credit card donations because they don’t want to come [down to the food bank on Sidney’s Fifth Street]. A lot of people are doing the online donation.” Ultimately, it does not matter, how people donate, she said.

One of the largest and likely most unusual donations happened Saturday from North Saanich’s Rest Haven Adventist Church, when its church elder, Rick Wiegel lowered a $3,000 cheque into the hands of Elder with the help of a fishing rod.

“That was definitely social distancing at its best,” said Elder, laughing. “We thought that was really, really great,” she said. For the record, the hook did not snag Elder’s fingers.

RELATED: B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

RELATED: Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

The Peninsula Tennis Club followed this donation with a donation of $2,600 Monday.

Alan Osborne, president of the tennis club, said the money represents the refund the club was due because its rented facilities at Panorama Recreation Centre were not available because of COVID-19.

Aware of the struggles faced by food banks everywhere, Osborne said the club polled the membership and 99 per cent of members opted to donate their share.

Food banks, including Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank, have seen a drop in donations for several reasons including social distancing just as demand has been rising in the wake of COVID-19’s economic effects.

This development has forced food banks to tap into cash reserves to compensate and food banks have been asking the public for monetary donations.

Groups donating have echoed this request and both Rest Haven Adventist Church and the Peninsula Tennis Club have issued challenges to other organizations in making donations to help avoid what the church called a ‘looming crisis.’

Elder confirmed the food bank currently needs a monthly minimum amount of $10,000 for food purchases, a number of likely to rise.

RELATED: COVID-19: Goldstream Food Bank braces for influx of patrons after layoffs

RELATED: Greater Victoria food banks ask public for financial donations during COVID-19 pandemic

“We definitely think we are going to have an influx of new clients … in April,” she said. With paycheques stopping or running out in early April and Employment Insurance not yet coming in, many locals will turn to assistance, she added. “We are probably anticipating 30 per cent more in clients,” she said. The facility serves about 1,000 people per month.

Accordingly, Elder anticipates the food bank will be purchasing a lot more food to meet growing demand.

The food bank has also received donations of items that had previously dried up, including fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy products that would have otherwise gone to waste from local restaurants including Mary’s Bleue Moon Cafe (Sidney), The Five and Dime Diner (Sidney) and Adriana’s (Central Saanich) forced to close by COVID-19.

“Anything fresh is very expensive right now,” she said. “From what I understand, a lot of grocery stores are running out of those items. It’s saving people a lot of money and it’s healthier food for people.”

These donations, coupled with donations from Thrifty Foods, have allowed the food bank to resume distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables twice a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays) after having cancelled the service earlier.

Monetary donations can can be made here.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Coronavirus

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

Just Posted

Saanich residents sound alarm after second owl dies of rat poison

Great Horned Owl found in Kings Park killed by three rodenticides

Point-guard lobs no-look, three-pointer for Oak Bay High video

Trick-shot only took three times, says Oak Bay teen

Cancelled cruise ships costs Victoria more than $130 million

Transport Canada bans ships until end of October in response to COVID-19

Phase-by-phase look at how Greater Victoria Public Libraries will reopen

GVPL to quarantine returned material for a minimum of 72 hours before lending again

Langford pitches Westhills as Canadian Premier League soccer hub

Langford could host all eight teams for August matches

VIDEO: Victoria dental staff dance to *NSYNC to promote reopening

Urban Smiles staff ‘want you back’ after closure in response to pandemic

Feds looking at ways to reunite families amid COVID-19 border restrictions with U.S.

Some families with members of dual-citizenship have become separated due to the pandemic

B.C. aquaculture farm’s employees sweat it out to raise funds for food banks

For every five minutes of exercise recorded, Cermaq Canada is donating a dollar to local food banks in communities they operate

Condition in kids with possible COVID-19 link being studied in Canada

This month, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert to doctors about MIS-C

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

Trudeau acknowledges racial unrest in U.S.; ‘We also have work to do in Canada’

‘Anti-black racism, racism, is real; it’s in the United States, but it’s also in Canada,’ Trudeau says

Large cruise ships barred from Canadian waters until end of October: Garneau

Last year 140 cruise ships brought more than two million visitors to Canadian ports

Minneapolis cop who knelt on man’s neck charged with murder

Arrest comes after three days of protests, which escalated in violence as demonstrators torched a police precinct

Most Read