Bev Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank, and Tyson Elder, operations manager, say a man confronted them at the rear entry of the food bank, demanding entry and food. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Bev Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank, and Tyson Elder, operations manager, say a man confronted them at the rear entry of the food bank, demanding entry and food. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank staff rattled after altercation

Sidney/North Saanich RCMP recommend charges against Sidney resident, say staff

The anguish is audible as Bev Elder, executive director of the Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank speaks over the phone about the stress that she, her staff and volunteers have experienced over the last few months.

“When COVID-19 first hit in March, we worked for seven weeks straight, not one day off, trying to make sure people were feed, to change everything,” she said. “Our priority was to feed people and we did that. “[But] we are worn-thin. We are so fragile at this point. I could burst into tears now.”

Elder’s frayed state of mind took a hit Wednesday when, she says, a man attacked her and son Tyson Elder, the food bank’s operations manager.

“Everybody is so thankful for what we are doing, and then you get this happening to you,” she said. “It just makes you want to give up completely.”

Elder said the Nov. 18 incident left her “rattled to the bone” and “shaking,” not to mention feeling a sense of frustration.

RELATED: Peninsula organizations fund food bank ahead of ‘looming crisis’

According to Elder, Sidney/North Saanich RCMP recommended assault charges against a Sidney resident who was released with an order to stay away from the facility and a court appearance scheduled for January 2021.

“Even though a lot people don’t agree that the food bank should be around and all that, but but we don’t deserve to be sworn at,” she said. “Now that the COVID money has run out, people are coming back, who haven’t been here for a while. Our numbers are definitely going up.”

Some 200 people have already registered for Christmas hampers with three weeks left in the registration period. At the same time, the organization could not fundraise as much as in previous years. Last year, a fundraising concert featuring Barney Bentall raised $51,000 – funds not available this year.

The incident represents a low point of seven stressful months and only the latest in a number of confrontational incidents.

“We probably had five incidents, where we had to actually call the police,” Elder said. “There have been other cases where people are upset and you get sworn at and things like that.”

The Peninsula News Review has reached out to police for additional confirmation and will update this story accordingly.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Just Posted

Four residents and two cats were displaced from their home in James Bay when a fire broke out Sunday afternoon. (Black Press Media file photo)
No injuries in James Bay house fire

Fire broke out at about 2 p.m. Sunday

A single-vehicle incident has closed southbound traffic along the Pat Bay Highway from Sayward Road Monday morning. Emergency crews are on scene. (Black Press Media file photo)
TRAFFIC: Single-vehicle incident closes section of Pat Bay

Highway southbound from Sayward Road closed Monday morning

LeoVegas's promotional art for their survey of Canada's funniest proviences (LeoJoker)
B.C. second-funniest province in Canada: online survey

Dry humour popular with B.C. residents – we’re also boisterous laughers

University of Victoria researchers received more than $9 million from the federal government for projects that aim to advance big ideas, discoveries and innovations. (Photo courtesy of UVic)
University of Victoria research boosted with more than $9 million in federal funding

The research funding will support a wide range of projects and study

Coun. Bob Thompson wants authorities to delay the June 30 deadline for submissions to BC Housing’s request-for-proposal to run the supportive housing project at Prosser Road. (Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich calls for delay in supportive housing project deadline

Municipality wants more say in eventual choice of contractor to run supportive housing project

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Most Read