A typically slow time of year is made even more difficult for the Cranbrook Food Bank as concerns around a lack of volunteers and donations loom with the novel coronavirus pandemic.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Food Bank took to Facebook to explain that they didn’t receive their typical donation this week, and they are looking for volunteers.
“Yesterday we received only half the food we usually receive from local stores,” reads the post.
Gerry Oviatt, President of the Cranbrook Food Bank Society, explained that the society is concerned with COVID-19 and a possible decrease in volunteers and donations.
“We are, of course, always looking for donations and volunteers, year round. The community has been very good to us and we usually have a fairly steady supply, especially at Christmas time. Things tend to quiet down at this time of year quite a bit, and we’re concerned with the coronavirus. We’re just not sure how that’ll work out,” Oviatt said.
The post on Facebook explains that some of the local Food Bank volunteers are self-isolating, as they have recently returned from trips. Oviatt says there tends to be a shortage of volunteers in the spring months regardless, but they are expecting even more of a shortage with COVID-19.
The Food Bank explained in their post that they will be handing out food hampers through a window, rather than having clients inside the Food Bank. They have also ramped up cleaning efforts and set up a relief volunteer call-out list, for those who are able and interesting in being called occasionally to handle small tasks. The tasks include driving for food pick ups and drop offs, food hamper delivery, sorting food, cleaning the Food Bank facilities, weighing and packing food into hampers, and helping out around the office.
Anyone interested in volunteering can get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Food Bank at 250-426-7664. Hours of operation are Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10a.m. to 2p.m.