We want to let our neighbours know that their generosity assists us in meeting the needs of 1,200 people per month with emergency food hampers. Last year we distributed 7,863 food hampers to households in our local community. One third of those we help are children.
Our food hampers provide a five-day supply, and a household may access one hamper per month. Our hamper contents are nutritionally balanced and comprised of staple food items plus variable selected items and donated extras.
Recently we launched our Fresh From The Heart campaign with an emphasis on providing fresh fruits and vegetables to our clients. We also strive to provide extra milk and nutritional snacks for kids. Your cash donations allow us to affordably secure bulk and on-safe purchases of these items.
Currently our most needed food donations are: fresh fruits and vegetables, peanut butter and nuts, dried beans, cheese, eggs, canned: beans/fish/meat, fruit/vegetables/pasta sauces, nutritional snacks for kids, quality juices, toiletries and paper products.
To meet the increasing need for emergency food we are also open for weekday drop-in-service, providing food and other household items on a first-come-first serve basis from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon. Use of this daily service has increased from an average of 800 visits per month last year to 1,000 visits per month currently. On these days we offer time-sensitive daily store donations (including fresh produce, baked goods, dairy products), seasonal farm and garden donations, as well as surplus dry goods and canned goods, as available.
The Comox Valley Food Bank has been committed to reducing hunger in our community for the past 28 years. We feed approximately 18 per cent of the population of the Comox Valley, including populations from Oyster River in the north to Cook Creek in the south, as well as Hornby Island and Denman Island residents. Our clients represent a broad demographic faced with challenges in meeting the basic need for subsistence, including, but not exclusively: individual adults, single parents, people with disabilities, recent immigrants, people faced with persistent poverty, under waged Individuals, two-parent households with children, students, seniors and homeless individuals.
As the need for our emergency food program continues to grow, we strive to expand our community of donors, in order to gather more food and cash donations to meet these needs. For this we also depend greatly on our volunteers, including those who create special events and food drives as well as our dedicated core group of 35-40 individuals. Last year, our site volunteers donated 20,283 hours to gather, process and distribute food.
We are always recruiting volunteers, should you or someone you know Be interested in helping out. Every dollar, every bag of food and every hour of service makes a difference in the lives of people in our community. Your donation is an encouragement to others and is integral in creating awareness and expanding our community of support.
In closing we would like to share our current challenge with you – we are faced with the immediate task of finding a new home for our Comox Valley Food bank. As we undertake the search for a site, and even though what we do is valued by those who give and those who receive, the reality is that not everyone wants us as their neighbour or potential tenant.
Maybe you know of a space that could be the future home of the Comox Valley Food Bank? We would be happy to hear from you. Please drop us an e-mail or call to chat.
Comox Valley Food Bank Society