Despite the stories of hoarding and product shortages in stores, there are a few bright lights that show how generous people still are.
Central Okanagan Food Bank chief development officer Tammie Watson said Monday morning started with a generous cartful of donations.
“At about 10 a.m., we had a driver come up from Instacart with a full car’s worth of food that had been donated by Jillian Harris,” she said.
“She heard the news that we were going through some challenges. Our client intake has gone up significantly and donations are dwindling and kind of going down from what we’re used to.”
In all, Watson said Harris a television personality and interior designer donated 240 pounds of food and baby basics.
Watson said the food bank needs staple items like fresh potatoes, carrots, onions, pasta, pasta sauces, canned vegetables and canned fruit among others.
“We have a great relationship with our retail partners so right now, financial donations will go so much further so we can buy the items. So if people are wanting to help out at all, financial donations are the absolute best way to do that and they can do that on our website,” she said.
She said they’re also monitoring the number of people who come to the food bank for assistance, as schools and various businesses close down, in turn affecting paycheques and the ability to buy essentials.
Watson added she is starting to hear from retail partners that it’s getting harder to stock their stores for regular customers, as well as the food bank.
“We really don’t know how it’s going to look from one week to the next. We will put in our order and hopefully all of it will be filled, but we won’t really know until we get there,” she said.
“It’s really difficult when you get people who go in and completely clean off shelves and leave nothing for anyone,” she said.
Those who need food assistance can call the Central Okanagan Food Bank. As a precaution, they are not taking walk-ins. Watson said residents should call the food bank so volunteers can assemble a hamper for them and give it to them in the parking lot to minimize contact and the risk of passing on any illness.
For more information on assistance and donations, visit the food bank’s website.