An official with Vernon’s Salvation Army says the need has never been greater locally, with up to eight new families having to use the food bank each week.
Lieutenant Stefan Reid isn’t sure why demand has increased but says it could be due to housing costs and a lack of jobs.
“The need I think is greater than ever. We continue to see about five to eight new families per week, and we’re also wondering now if we need to expand our hamper distribution services to perhaps once a month, once every six weeks, instead of once every two months,” Reid tells Beach Radio News.
Reid (pictured) says they continue to see people coming into their House of Hope who are hungry and who need support.
“We’re looking at all of our options to see if we can make some changes to how we distribute, and meet the needs of the community.”
The social agency is moving its food warehouse into its Thrift Store at the north end, with the money saved going into programs.
“Our current site is on 23rd Street, and we’ve moving it to our 24th Street Thrift Store location, just because we own that building, and the money that we’ll be saving in lease, we’ll be able to put it back into the community, such as extra food and more programming.”
Reid says everything will be shifted to the left in the store.
“Our sorting area will become a little bit smaller. We’re planning to have as minimal disruption to our services as absolutely possible.”
Reid says they will offer 25% off during days of construction at the 24th Street site.
Distribution of food and hampers will continue to be done from the House of Hope location on 33rd Street downtown.
The Salvation Army has received a grant from Food Banks BC to purchase a new walk in cooler/freezer, a refrigeration truck, food collection bins and other equipment.