Food bank struggling with summer as donations decline

$2 donations can be made at the local Country Grocer through the BC Share program.

The Cowichan Lake Food Bank, along with many other food banks in the Cowichan Valley, have been seeing a drop in donations this summer while monthly usage and requests for emergency hampers continue to come in.

Society treasurer Katherine Worsley said that the drop in donations is typical for the summer months, though there is little that can be done to alleviate the problem.

“We’ll run fundraisers like hot dog sales, and we’ll receive cash donations from other groups in town, but I don’t know what else we can do to help the situation,” she said.

In the past, the food bank has taken advantage of Lake Days by setting up donation bins on the grounds of the event, though with mixed success. In favour of the usual donation bins, this year’s Lake Days saw the introduction of a “food bank scavenger hunt,” which saw participants go door-to-door to collect non-perishable donations.

The Cowichan Valley Basket Society, which operates out of Duncan, has said that the annual summer shortage is partly due to students returning home for the summer, though Worsley has said that the Cowichan Lake Food Bank’s problems have more to do with a drop in donations than with a rise in demand.

“The summer is always problematic for us,” she said. “People are going on vacation — the last thing they have in their minds is donating to food banks, or any charity in general.”

The Cowichan Lake Food Bank is hoping that residents will remember to lend a hand this summer to the local families that use the food bank’s monthly service, whether its through food or cash donations. The food bank is also asking residents to donate any excess produce they have, as long as its near their distribution date on the second Wednesday of each month. Residents can also make a $2 cash donation to the BC Share program, through the coupons seen near the register at Country Grocer. 100 per cent of the donations made at the Lake Cowichan Country Grocer go to our local food bank. The food bank is also planning on holding a hot dog sale/fundraiser in late August.

To arrange for a donation drop-off, contact Betty Sanddar at 250-710-6715.