Chad and Tanya Hooker, centre, and other volunteers run the Black Creek Bread of Life Food Bank. Scott Stanfield photo

Chad and Tanya Hooker, centre, and other volunteers run the Black Creek Bread of Life Food Bank. Scott Stanfield photo

Black Creek Food Bank provides far-reaching service

The Black Creek Bread of Life Food Bank has been providing perishable and non-perishable food to people in the area for more than 10 years.

The service — which originally operated at Living Waters Fellowship — distributes food Tuesday mornings out of a space at the United Mennonite Church. On Saturdays, volunteers distribute hampers.

“On Saturdays, we do food pickups across Courtenay, and we do emergency hamper building as well,” said Chad Hooker, president/founder of the program. His wife Tanya is executive director.

Chad said the service grew out of an after-school program for children and youth. The couple recognized a need for food, which prompted them to provide bread.

“We used to do this in Langley as well, to recovery homes,” he said.

The food bank supports 512 clients a month, mainly in Black Creek, Oyster River and Merville, along with several in Fanny Bay. One recipient lives close to Sayward.

The number of hamper deliveries nearly doubled after COVID hit, jumping from 50 to about 150 a week.

“We want to expand to two or three days,” Tanya said. “We do feel there is a need to expand but it just has to be the right time.”

Since it is an independent organization, the Bread of Life is not restricted by boundaries. It works in partnership with food banks in the Comox Valley and Campbell River, and with local governments. It relies on the generosity of the community, and a dedicated group of volunteers.

“Every business in Black Creek is affiliated somehow,” Chad said.

The Black Creek Bread of Life Food Bank runs Tuesdays from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at 2277 Enns Rd.

For the past decade, it has also operated a Christmas Hamper Program. This year, it distributed 95 hampers.

Find Black Creek Bread of Life Food Bank on Facebook.

FMI: blackcreekfoodbank@gmail.com