Bev Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Food Bank, accepts a $3,000 cheque from North Saanich’s Rest Haven Adventist Church from church head elder, Rick Wiegel. (Courtesy Rest Haven Adventist Church)

Bev Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Food Bank, accepts a $3,000 cheque from North Saanich’s Rest Haven Adventist Church from church head elder, Rick Wiegel. (Courtesy Rest Haven Adventist Church)

Peninsula organizations fund food bank ahead of ‘looming crisis’

Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank receives more than $5,000 from local organizations

The food bank serving the Saanich Peninsula received $15,000 in monetary donations during the past seven days, according to its executive director, who predicts that the facility will see an increase of 30 per cent in clients, as the economic effects of COVID-19 reverberate

“It’s has been amazing,” said Bev Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank. “We get a lot of people phoning in credit card donations because they don’t want to come [down to the food bank on Sidney’s Fifth Street]. A lot of people are doing the online donation.” Ultimately, it does not matter, how people donate, she said.

One of the largest and likely most unusual donations happened Saturday from North Saanich’s Rest Haven Adventist Church, when its church elder, Rick Wiegel lowered a $3,000 cheque into the hands of Elder with the help of a fishing rod.

“That was definitely social distancing at its best,” said Elder, laughing. “We thought that was really, really great,” she said. For the record, the hook did not snag Elder’s fingers.

RELATED: B.C. announces $3M for food banks to increase capacity during COVID-19

RELATED: Food Banks BC already seeing surge in demand due to COVID-19 pandemic

The Peninsula Tennis Club followed this donation with a donation of $2,600 Monday.

Alan Osborne, president of the tennis club, said the money represents the refund the club was due because its rented facilities at Panorama Recreation Centre were not available because of COVID-19.

Aware of the struggles faced by food banks everywhere, Osborne said the club polled the membership and 99 per cent of members opted to donate their share.

Food banks, including Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank, have seen a drop in donations for several reasons including social distancing just as demand has been rising in the wake of COVID-19’s economic effects.

This development has forced food banks to tap into cash reserves to compensate and food banks have been asking the public for monetary donations.

Groups donating have echoed this request and both Rest Haven Adventist Church and the Peninsula Tennis Club have issued challenges to other organizations in making donations to help avoid what the church called a ‘looming crisis.’

Elder confirmed the food bank currently needs a monthly minimum amount of $10,000 for food purchases, a number of likely to rise.

RELATED: COVID-19: Goldstream Food Bank braces for influx of patrons after layoffs

RELATED: Greater Victoria food banks ask public for financial donations during COVID-19 pandemic

“We definitely think we are going to have an influx of new clients … in April,” she said. With paycheques stopping or running out in early April and Employment Insurance not yet coming in, many locals will turn to assistance, she added. “We are probably anticipating 30 per cent more in clients,” she said. The facility serves about 1,000 people per month.

Accordingly, Elder anticipates the food bank will be purchasing a lot more food to meet growing demand.

The food bank has also received donations of items that had previously dried up, including fresh fruit, vegetables and dairy products that would have otherwise gone to waste from local restaurants including Mary’s Bleue Moon Cafe (Sidney), The Five and Dime Diner (Sidney) and Adriana’s (Central Saanich) forced to close by COVID-19.

“Anything fresh is very expensive right now,” she said. “From what I understand, a lot of grocery stores are running out of those items. It’s saving people a lot of money and it’s healthier food for people.”

These donations, coupled with donations from Thrifty Foods, have allowed the food bank to resume distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables twice a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays) after having cancelled the service earlier.

Monetary donations can can be made here.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Jan. 21 marks the 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century, according to some. (Black Press Media file photo)
The 21st day of the 21st year of the 21st century is upon us – maybe

Milestone won’t be back for another 100 years

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Reader’s Lens
The surf’s up at Whiffin Spit. Joan Stiebel snapped this photo on a recent windy day in Sooke. To submit a photo to Reader’s Lens, please email editor@sookenewsmirror.com. (Contributed photo)
Reader’s Lens

Reader’s Lens The surf’s up at Whiffin Spit. Joan Stiebel snapped this… Continue reading

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Most Read