Grand Forks’ food bank has busy year in 2021 – Boundary Creek Times

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Grand Forks’ food bank helped feed people across the Boundary well over 4,500 times in 2021, according to Vice President Janet Thorpe.

Thorpe is one of 40 volunteers at the Boundary Community Food Bank, where she said volunteers put in over 5,400 hours at 7816A Donaldson Dr. last year.

Jasmine Charpentier said she started volunteering at the Boundary Community Food Bank in the spring of 2021 because she wanted to make a difference for people in town. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

And Thorpe would know, because food bank staff track day-to-day operations in granular detail. “We keep more stats than baseball!” she told The Gazette Monday, Feb. 28.

According to those numbers, people accessed the food bank 4,609 times in 2021 — a year that saw a nearly four per cent bump in the Consumer Price Index rise across B.C., according to Statistics Canada.

“Our clients come from Beaverdell through Christina Lake. They represent all walks of life,” Thorpe said.

Many accessed the food bank more than once last year, but many others came only when faced with unexpected bills — especially fall and winter heating bills.

Volunteer Sheryle Chase grabs frozen food for clients at the Boundary Community Food Bank in May 2021. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Volunteer Sheryle Chase grabs frozen food for clients at the Boundary Community Food Bank in May 2021. Photo: Laurie Tritschler

Thirty per cent of clients last December were children, with seniors making up another 15 per cent, according to food bank records.

Hardly any of this would’ve been possible were it not for local donations that bring in 90 per cent of annual operating funds. Donations are split roughly evenly between private residents and Boundary area companies, especially grocery stores.

To that point, Thorpe said the food bank gave out vouchers last year for just over 6,000 litres of milk and milk products care of Grand Forks’ Save-On Foods. Buy-Low and Extra foods also made significant food donations, along with Save-On.

(L-R) Buy-Low Foods manager Daniel presents the Boundary Community Food Bank’s Dean Scown and Janet Thorpe with a $430 cheque on Feb. 16. The money came from Buy-Low points donated by customers who left their bills in the Food Bank’s collection box on their way out of the store, according to Thorpe. Photo courtesy of Janet Thorpe

(L-R) Buy-Low Foods manager Daniel presents the Boundary Community Food Bank’s Dean Scown and Janet Thorpe with a $430 cheque on Feb. 16. The money came from Buy-Low points donated by customers who left their bills in the Food Bank’s collection box on their way out of the store, according to Thorpe. Photo courtesy of Janet Thorpe

To make a cash donation to the food bank, visit their website at boundarycommunityfoodbank.ca/get-involved.

Buy-Low Foods gives $1 for every point that customers choose to donate to the food bank through the store’s My Neighbourhood Rewards program. Buy-Low also gives the food bank a $10 gift card for every $5,000 worth of receipts that go into the food bank’s collection box by the store’s exit.

To donate your bottles and cans to the food bank, bring your returns in a clear plastic bag and ask food bank volunteers for a sticker bearing the food bank’s account at the Grand Forks Bottle Depot. Put the sticker on your bags and then drop them off at the food bank’s bin at the depot.

The food bank meanwhile collects non-perishable food items left at collection boxes at Buy-Low, Extra and Save-On foods, Thorpe said.

The food bank supports the Rock Creek Food Share program, as well as the Blessings Boutique at Grand Forks’ Gospel Chapel.


 

@ltritsch1
laurie.tritschler@grandforksgazette.ca

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laurie.tritschler@boundarycreektimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Food BankGrand Forks





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