Unable to sustain the weight of distributing up to 140 bags of groceries once a month, the St. Andrew’s Anglican Church food bank is still offering a monthly service – but as a sit down called the Ione Coffee Stop.
With the next day coming up on Tuesday, Rev. Neil Eliot is asking for anyone in the community with a bountiful garden, to consider donating extra produce and fruit to the cause.
“Local grocery stores are very generous with bread,” says Rev. Eliot. “We are hoping in the summer as people’s gardens start ripening that they will give to the coffee stop, or the other Trail food banks in the United Church and the Salvation Army.”
St. Andrew’s has welcomed hundreds of people since changing the food bank format in March. The service, located off Eldorado Street in Ione Hall, is vital for so much more than simply a meal and hot drink.
Patrons socialize with each other, the dedicated community volunteers, and they have the option of connecting with a social worker at the site.
“What we have found is that about 80 people are coming for coffee, buns, sometimes a hot dog or sandwich,” Eliot explained. “They need food, but they also need to be part of a community where they are respected as a person , not as a ‘client’.”
Fresh food donations can be dropped of at the Ione Hall entrance on Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. For more information or to contribute to the program, contact Eliot at 250.368.5581.
The country’s most recent statistics from Food Banks Canada show more than 850,000 Canadian access food banks monthly, and 100,000 of those patrons live in British Columbia.
Trail’s growing number of food bank patrons mirror the rest of the country’s 26 per cent increase in food bank usage since 2008.