Access to community food programs on the rise

142
In this file photo, Patti Larson, Community Connections Program, Director, Community Outreach & Development stands with a volunteer after sorting through donations received during the annual Emergency Services Food Drive. This year’s food drive won’t take place, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. File photo: Community Connections

Food access programs at Community Connections are seeing a consistent increase in numbers.

A total of 80 new households have signed up for food programs at Community Connections since the start of COVID-19. That’s a significant jump from the same time period last year, when a total 15 new households registered.

“These are people that live in Revelstoke. We are seeing more and more families with children,” said Patti Larson, Community Connections director of community outreach & development.

Larson said recent changes to CERB and Employment Insurance, along with increases in heating bills now that the weather is cooler, are just some of the factors leading people to access the food bank and food recovery programs.

At the start of the pandemic, both the food bank and food recovery programs were moved to an outside location, in the back parking lot at Community Connections. Starting this Wednesday, October 7, the food bank will begin operating out of its new location at 416 Second Street West. The new hours of operation are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Read more about the Community Connection Food Bank’s new location here:

Community Connections Revelstoke to relocate some services to newly purchased downtown building

Keeping a positive outlook despite canceled fundraisers

Despite the cancellation of some of the food bank’s largest annual fundraisers, Larson is remaining optimistic. The annual Emergency Services Food Drive, CP Rail Holiday Train, Sutton Place Tree Pageant and Soupalicious are all cancelled this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions. The annual Red Apple Food Drive is still on, however, and runs until this Friday, October 9.

In the wake of those canceled events, Larson said a number of community members and businesses have stepped up with different fundraisers to help out.

“People are recognizing the need is still high. We are looking at doing fundraisers once we’ve moved and are settled and have the capacity to store food,” said Larson. “Although events are canceled people are still donating, being kind, thinking of the rest of the community. We’re really grateful for the support.”