As the season of giving approaches

Greater Trail food banks respond to growing need

Local food banks have been noticing an increase in demand over the past few years.

The basement of a downtown Trail church was standing room only Tuesday morning during its once-a-month food bank.

More than 100 people packed Iona Hall in St. Andrews Anglican Church, located in a side alley off Eldorado Street.

That number is indicative of how many people will need to use the food bank during the cold season, according to food bank coordinator Patti Flack,

“As people get a higher gas and electric bill in the winter months, our numbers will increase,” said Flack.

“We have everyone from young families up to seniors and a lot of people on limited or low income. And anyone can come, no questions asked.”

Flack has coordinated the food bank since 2009, and along with an army of 28 volunteers, sets up the church basement to provide lunch, this week donated ham and cheese bunwiches and homemade goodies, along with take-away hampers.

Over her tenure, Flack has seen the number of people using the service triple.

“When I started I had maybe 40 people who came regularly,” she said. “Now we are averaging 100 or better year round.”

Flack said each hamper costs $10 to $15, and contains cans of soup, tuna, and vegetables along with pasta or noodles.

“People can donate even one hamper per month which helps to meet the demand,” she added.

Food items can be dropped off at the door of the Pine Avenue church, or for more information, contact Flack at 364-5729.

The Trail Catholic community, now under one roof at Holy Trinity Parish in East Trail, collects food, cleaning products and personal hygiene items the first Sunday of every month.

“Years ago we ran a food bank right out of the church but now we donate our food to various places within the community,” said Marianne Hubbard, Holy Trinity‘s executive assistant. “If we know of a family in need or if a facility in town contacts us with a need, that is who we donate our food to.”

If the church doesn’t receive a particular request, then items are donated to where the need is greatest, and includes the Clubhouse, WINS Transition House, Sanctuary, the United Church food bank and the Salvation Army.

For information or to donate to the Holy Trinity program, call 368-6677.

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