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Food bank looking for volunteers

The Cranbrook Food Bank is looking for volunteers, especially with the busy upcoming holiday season on the way.
The food bank is looking for a few more volunteers to help out on the team. From left to right

Arne Petryshen

The Cranbrook Food Bank is looking for volunteers, especially with the busy upcoming holiday season on the way.

“In December we get really busy with the hampers and then the turkeys,”Gerry Oviatt, manager of the Cranbrook Food Bank, said.

“We’re kind of running a little short on volunteers there days, especially Wednesdays and Fridays,” Oviatt said.

He said one of the key departments they are missing volunteers is for driving the van around town to various locations to pick up donations. The drivers always have a helper that accompanies them as well.

Those places include all the grocery stores, Tim Hortons and Little Caesar’s Pizza.

“The bigger stores have a lot of produce and bakery stuff like bread and some desserts, that we get the next day,” he said.

The food bank purchases some staple foods, like potatoes and carrots, but Oviatt said they have been avoiding buying dairy because it is so expensive and perishable.

“When Target was here we used to get a ton of dairy products, because they weren’t selling a lot of stuff,” he said. “That’s the thing we’re really short of these days, and it’s expensive too to go out and buy that stuff.”

Sometimes there is some dairy that comes in. On Monday there were a number of milk jugs that came in, along with quite a few pizzas.

They also receive quite a bit of produce and fruits, like apples and bananas.

Then there are other positions in the back, include the shopper, who goes through the list and determines what each hamper gets. They also break down some of the products like flower and meat down into smaller packages.

Oviatt said everyday is a new adventure in terms of what is coming in.

Sometimes that includes wild meat, that comes in from the city and from the Conservation Officers.

In December there is the Turkey Drive where they split the funds with the Salvation Army.

“The organizations in town are really good at supporting us that way,” he said.

The Bankers’ Auction is coming up in November.

Oviatt said the food bank is busy all through the year, and it depends on the time of month more than anything.

“All through the month we get 30, 40, 50 hampers a day on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday,” he said. “We average about 400 hampers a month.”