Bev Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank, and Tyson Elder, operations manager, say a man confronted them at the rear entry of the food bank, demanding entry and food. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Bev Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank, and Tyson Elder, operations manager, say a man confronted them at the rear entry of the food bank, demanding entry and food. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank staff rattled after altercation

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP recommend charges against Sidney resident, say staff

The anguish is audible as Bev Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank speaks over the phone about the stress that she, her staff and volunteers have experienced over the last few months.

“When COVID-19 first hit in March, we worked for seven weeks straight, not one day off, trying to make sure people were feed, to change everything,” she said. “Our priority was to feed people and we did that. “[But] we are worn-thin. We are so fragile at this point. I could burst into tears now.”

Elder’s frayed state of mind took a hit Wednesday when, she says, a man attacked her and son Tyson Elder, the food bank’s operations manager.

“Everybody is so thankful for what we are doing, and then you get this happening to you,” she said. “It just makes you want to give up completely.”

Elder said the Nov. 18 incident left her “rattled to the bone” and “shaking,” not to mention feeling a sense of frustration.

RELATED: Peninsula organizations fund food bank ahead of ‘looming crisis’

According to Elder, Sidney/North Saanich RCMP recommended assault charges against a Sidney resident who was released with an order to stay away from the facility and a court appearance scheduled for January 2021.

“Even though a lot people don’t agree that the food bank should be around and all that, but but we don’t deserve to be sworn at,” she said. “Now that the COVID money has run out, people are coming back, who haven’t been here for a while. Our numbers are definitely going up.”

Some 200 people have already registered for Christmas hampers with three weeks left in the registration period. At the same time, the organization could not fundraise as much as in previous years. Last year, a fundraising concert featuring Barney Bentall raised $51,000 – funds not available this year.

The incident represents a low point of seven stressful months and only the latest in a number of confrontational incidents.

“We probably had five incidents, where we had to actually call the police,” Elder said. “There have been other cases where people are upset and you get sworn at and things like that.”

The Peninsula News Review has reached out to police for additional confirmation and will update this story accordingly.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

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

Just Posted

Staff Sgt. Darrell Underwood and Ian Gibbs, coordinator of volunteers for the Saanich Police Department, stand in front of the new Saanich Community Safety Office at Uptown Shopping Centre. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Saanich police call on volunteers for new community safety team

Community Safety Office to open spring 2021 at Uptown Shopping Centre

Laura Campbell was one of eight people to receive the Community Living BC Widening Our World award in 2020. (Courtesy of Laura Campbell)
Victoria woman earns provincial award for work with differently abled adults

Widening our World awards recognize community, inclusivity building

Aerial view of the Capital Regional District’s wastewater treatment facility at McLoughlin Point. (Photo courtesy CRD)
PHOTOS: Check out Greater Victoria’s new wasterwater treatment facilities

Long-awaited project has been up and running since late 2020

Learning tools from the Garth Homer Society’s LifeStreams program have gone online. (Facebook/Garth Homer Society)
Online platform launched for Greater Victoria adults with developmental disabilities

Platform includes programs, events, activities and COVID-19 resources

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich police, GVERT arrest suspect in West Shore investigation

Man arrested near Rutledge Park early Saturday morning

Crews with Discovery Channel film as an Aggressive Towing driver moves a Grumman S2F Tracker aircraft around a 90-degree turn from its compound and onto the road on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. It was the “most difficult” part of the move for the airplane, one organizer said. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: Vintage military plane gets towed from Chilliwack to Greater Victoria

Grumman CP-121 Tracker’s eventual home the British Columbia Aviation Museum on Vancouver Island

Dex needs surgery after breaking his paw in the panic caused by an apartment fire. (Submitted)
Dog needs surgery after escaping burning North Island building

Fundraiser started for veterinarian costs after Dex breaks paw dropping from upper floor apartment

Residents of the Cowichan Valley decorated more than 55 vehicles with anti-racist slogans for a car rally in support of Cowichan Tribes on Saturday, January 24. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Dozens join anti-racism car rally and virtual panel in Cowichan Valley

Provincial ministry and BC Green caucus issue joint statement detailing concerns

Jesse Savidant, 31, is wanted by the RCMP after failing to appear in provincial court in Nanaimo in December. Police warn Savidant should be considered violent. (Photo Submitted)
Warrant out for man accused of stolen property offences across Vancouver Island

Jesse Savidant did not appear for court date in Nanaimo last month, say RCMP

Rolling seven-day average of cases by B.C. health authority to Jan. 21. Fraser Health in purple, Vancouver Coastal red, Interior Health orange, Northern Health green and Vancouver Island blue. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
2nd COVID vaccine doses on hold as B.C. delivery delayed again

New COVID-19 cases slowing in Fraser Health region

The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is urging visitors to stay on designated trails after a hiker became injured in an unsanctioned area last week. (Westerly file photo)
Injured hiker rescued in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility.”

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. Two more cases of the COVID-19 strain first identified in South Africa have been diagnosed in British Columbia, bringing the total to three as of Jan. 16.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. now has three cases of South African COVID-19 variant, six of U.K. strain

Both variants are thought to spread faster than earlier strains

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker in an undated photo from social media. The couple has been ticketed and charged under the Yukon’s <em>Civil Emergency Measures Act</em> for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Great Canadian Gaming CEO resigns after being accused of sneaking into Yukon for vaccine

Rod Baker and Ekaterina Baker were charged with two CEMA violations each

Police discovered a makeshift nightclub in a Vancouver apartment on Jan. 23, 2021, and say it wasn’t the first time this month officers have been called to the unit over social gathering concerns. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Doorman of makeshift ‘booze-can’ in Vancouver apartment fined; police look to court order

This marks the fourth complaint about social gatherings inside the apartment in January

Most Read