A lot has changed at Friendly People’s Single Family and Seniors Food Bank over the past five months.
The food bank—located at 3455 Elliott Road—opened last November with the goal of helping single parents and their families, as well as seniors throughout West Kelowna.
Since January, more people have been utilizing the food bank and donations have increased, said Shari Lowther, director of Friendly People’s Single Family and Seniors Food Bank Society.
“I’ve worked hard to get different suppliers on board to help us with food coming in,” said Lowther.
The look of the food bank has changed as well. Last winter, clothing and other items were stored under tents, which limited Lowther’s ability to keep the area organized. Now, three large, organized storage containers are filled with donated clothing and other household items.
“The biggest compliment I get is how clean it is, how professional it looks now.”
Lowther said the food bank currently helps out about 40 single parents and seniors and is always looking to assist other West Kelowna residents who are in need.
“There are a lot of single parents who are struggling, I see it every day when they come in.
“They’re looking for a little bit of help for a couple of weeks, months or whatever it might be, just to help them through from paycheque to paycheque.”
She added Friendly People’s offers fresh milk and eggs, which are purchased with money raised through various fundraisers such as bottle drives.
The food bank has also began growing potatoes, carrots, onions and other vegetables in a community garden. Lowther plans to use the produce to fill hampers this fall.
“That’s what we’re doing to help ourselves be a little more self-sufficient—we might as well use the land we have.”
Food, clothing and appliance donations are always welcome, said Lowther, but Friendly People’s is especially in need of towels and bedding, as well as pots and pans.
For more information, including hours of operation, visit friendlypeoples.ca.