Ingrid Johnston surveys the almost bare cupboards at the Sooke Food Bank.

Ingrid Johnston surveys the almost bare cupboards at the Sooke Food Bank.

People may have to start going hungry

'Season of giving' unfortunately does not extend to new year

The Sooke Food Bank is in a crisis. The shelves hold only enough food for one round of giving and there is no help in sight.

The local food bank is often a lifeline for families in need. They hand out enough food to a family or individual for a couple of days and then they are on their own. The need is always greater than the ability to provide. Two years ago the food bank serviced 5,209 clients over the year, in 2012 they serviced 6,202 (roughly 453 households). Almost half of their clients are children under 17 years of age.

“We are hemorrhaging money,” said Ingrid Johnston, president of the Sooke Food Bank Society. “It costs us $4,500 a month to run and donations have come to a grinding halt.”

Johnston said currently cash donations are about $100 per month and they do not get any government help, from any level including locally. They pay $1,500 for the space they use in the Sooke Community Hall basement plus telephone costs, etc.

“We just had our annual general meeting and we probably can’t service Port Renfrew anymore,” said Elden Smith, a food bank volunteer, “The donations come from Sooke and we have to make a tough choice.”

Johnston said she wanted to remind people that food bank people are hungry after Christmas as well.

“We only have enough in the bank for another month or so,” she said.

The Sooke Food Bank comes to the rescue of the needy three times a month on the first three Thursdays. Clients only get one hamper a month, although the food bank never turns anyone away if the situation is dire. There are other community organizations that also help the hungry. Vital Vittles feeds folks on Fridays at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, the Sooke Food 4 the Soul offers meals at the Knox Presbyterian Church and the crisis centre helps where it can.

Johnston wants to point out that they are not a grocery store, they provide emergency rations that last two or three days only and they try to put nutritious food in the hampers. January to April are the hardest months for any food bank and they are looking to see if there can be a little more corporate support, rather than just the individual donations.

“It’s a challenge,” said Johnston. “Please take care of your own Sooke.”

Donations can be dropped off at either of the two grocery stores in Sooke and many businesses have donation boxes, including the Sooke News Mirror office.

With the demise of the penny, folks who have saved jars of them can bring them into the Sooke News Mirror office and they will be turned over to the Sooke Food Bank.

Cash donations can be mailed to: Sooke Food Bank, Box 983, Sooke, B.C. V9Z 1H7.

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

Just Posted

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

This dead fir tree is one of many in Mount Douglas Park. Nine dead trees will be removed from the Douglas Creek site starting March 8 to make way for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. (Photo courtesy Jason Clarke)
Nine dead, hazardous trees to be removed from Saanich park ahead of bridge construction

Felling begins March 8, minor trail interruptions expected in Mount Douglas Park

Dozens of reports of sexualized violence against a former employee of downtown Victoria restaurant Chuck’s Burger Bar were posted online in January. A police investigation is ongoing. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Chuck’s Burger Bar closes its doors after sexual assault allegations

Victoria police investigating reports of sexual misconduct, assault by former restaurant employee

Victoria Shamrocks announced on March 2 that Mike Simpson will be taking over as head coach. (Photo courtesy of the Victoria Shamrocks)
Victoria Shamrocks name new head coach ahead of 2021 season

Mike Simpson has been promoted from offensive coach to the team’s bench boss

The application proposing to rezone Western Speedway was passed by Langford’s planning, zoning and affordable housing committee Feb 8. A petition has since been started by residents of Trudie Terrace, hoping to stop the proposed residential portion of the development plan. (CBRE Victoria)
Petition opposing Western Speedway development proposal gains steam

Save Thetis Heights Neighborhood petition aims to stop extension of Trudie Terrace

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

.
LETTER: Anti-semitism definition lacking

Re: We must identify anti-Semitism and combat it (Online, Feb. 26) I… Continue reading

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

Most Read