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Comox Valley Food Bank donations experiencing 'summer drought'

COMOX VALLEY FOOD Bank manager Susan Somerset stands inside an empty cooler. Usually, this cooler has food in it to hand out to Comox Valley residents in need but the food bank is low on supplies right now. - Renee Andor
COMOX VALLEY FOOD Bank manager Susan Somerset stands inside an empty cooler. Usually, this cooler has food in it to hand out to Comox Valley residents in need but the food bank is low on supplies right now.
— image credit: Renee Andor

Donation flows to the Comox Valley Food Bank are going through a "summer drought," according to the food bank society's president Jeff Hampton.

"I've noticed a lot of our regular donors and such, they go away for summer or they've gone camping … they forget about the food banks," says Hampton, adding donations typically pick up around Thanksgiving, but the cupboards are pretty bare at this time of year.

He urges people with surplus garden goods to drop off their extra veggies or fruit to the food bank. As well, he notes LUSH Valley Food Action Society will pick fruit trees, giving the tree owner one third, keeping one third and giving one third to the organization of the tree owner's choice. Anyone wishing to donate some of their fruit to the food bank can call 250-338-0615 and the food bank will contact LUSH. Or, call LUSH at 250-331-0152.

Hampton adds the food bank can take basically any kind of food, from canned goods to perishables like milk and eggs, as it has plenty of storage space at its location at 1491 McPhee Ave.

Cash donations are appreciated, too, says Hampton, pointing out he's able to make cash go further than food too because he can get good deals when he buys in bulk.

"I bought 200 cases of 12-packs, Campbell's canned soup, for $1,098 and saved $1,300 by doing it that way," he says, as he recalls a recent purchase.

Tax receipts are available if the donor has proof of purchase, and tax receipts can even be given for garden produce if the donor knows the fair market value of the donation, adds Hampton.

Food Banks BC Sharing Coupon is another way to donate to the Comox Valley Food Bank. According to Hampton, these coupons — which add $2 onto your grocery purchase — are available at the local Thrifty Foods, Safeway, Superstore and Extra Foods grocery stores.

The food bank also gladly accepts plastic shopping bags, which it reuses when handing out food.

Each year the average number of households served by the Comox Valley Food Bank steadily grows. In 2008/09, 596 households were served by the food bank per month. That number rose to 667 by 2011/12. Almost 7,150 emergency food hampers were handed out in 2008/09, and that number climbed to 7,998 by 2011/12.

The food bank is open from 9:30 a.m to noon Monday to Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday and 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday.

Food hampers are handed out Thursdays.

For more information, call the food bank at 250-338-0615.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

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