Supplies are rationed to last each food bank patron one week.(Submitted photo)

Pandemic increases need at Trail volunteer-run food bank

COVID-19 transmission precautions enforced in Trail United Church food bank

The Trail United Church food bank volunteers have already seen a longer line up of people needing help from the pantry these past few weeks.

And with pandemic precautions forcing many businesses to, at best, curb operations and lay-off workers, these vital advocates for the vulnerable are expecting food bank resources to be stretched to the absolute limit in the coming months.

But these kind-hearted and dedicated community members are up for the challenge so everyone who needs help, feels welcome and no one goes hungry.

Read more: Trail United Church food bank

Read more: Latest news on COVID-19

For the past several weeks, patrons attending the downtown Trail food bank have numbered just shy of 100.

“People are coming and saying, ‘I’ve lost my job can I get some food,’” said organizer Marylynn Rakuson. “So we have definitely had an increase in need, and we envision that we will continue to have an increase in need because of a lot of the people that are getting laid-off like the store clerks and hair dressers, for example.”

First and foremost, however, the food bank put the needed safeguards in place to protect their volunteers and patrons from coronavirus transmission.

Because the food bank users generally arrive fairly early outside the Trail church three Tuesdays a month, volunteers started opening the doors at 9 a.m., therein preventing groups from gathering by implementing physical distancing precautions.

Patrons are guided in one at a time through an upstairs entrance, given a dollop of hand sanitizer, and led into a makeshift waiting room where chairs are set up and distanced apart.

They are then led downstairs with only two clients being served at a time and separated by at least six feet of physical distance.

“We have a really good system in place,” said Rakuson.

“We let one person in and give them food, vegetables, eggs and right now, we are cooking turkey so we give them gravy, cranberry sauce, buns and butter. If the person doesn’t have a stove they can take a turkey bun,” she shared.

“Our tables are spaced, and they go on through. We give them a coffee with cream and sugar to go, then a bag of sweets and out they go through the food bank door (not near the entrance door).”

As well, all touched surfaces are cleaned and promptly decontaminated.

The Trail United Church Food Bank is run by volunteers and solely on donations. (This community service does not quality for emergency funding or grants through Food Banks Canada)

“Our feeling is these are the vulnerable people in our communities and they also need help,” Rakuson said.

“So we are protecting our volunteers and we are protecting the people.”

The site operates the first, third and fourth Tuesday of each month.

To help the cause, call the church at 250.368.3225 Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., or visit the church’s website,, and click on “Donate Now.”

City of TrailCoronavirusFood Bank

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


The food bank waiting room has chairs distanced at least six feet apart. (Submitted photo)

Physical distancing is strictly adhered to in the Trail United Church food bank. (Submitted photo)

An automatic hand sanitizer dispenser delivers a dollop to each food bank patron as they enter the waiting area. (Submitted photo)

Just Posted

Photo: Rose Karges
Blue about snow?

If you have a recent photo to share email it large or actual-size

There has been COVID-19 exposures at two elementary schools in District 42. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 24 additional COVID-19 cases

This includes three school exposures in Kelowna

Some amendments have been made to the bylaw since it passed first reading. File photo
Second public hearing set for Rossland chicken bylaw

Amended bylaw would now require electric fencing to be put around yards with chickens

Cooperation needed so minority Parliament can function smoothly

“We will continue to work with the other parties to get answers … ”

Katrine Conroy has won for the fifth time in the Kootenay West riding. Photo: Submitted
Katrine Conroy ready to tackle challenges after election

Conroy won the Kootenay West riding for the fifth time

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 to win the baseball World Series in Game 6 Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
L.A. Dodgers beat Rays 3-1 to win 1st World Series title since 1988

National League champs claim crown in six games

Seven-year-old Aaliyah Rosa was found dead in an apartment in Langley in July. (Langley Advance Times files)
Child’s body cold, no pulse: Off-duty cop testifies in Langley mother’s murder trial

The seven-year-old girl’s mother faces a first-degree murder charge

People march during a climate strike in Montreal, Friday, Sept. 27, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Judge rejects 15 youths’ climate change lawsuit against Canadian government

Justice Michael Manson has granted the government’s motion to strike the plaintiffs’ claim

A woman walks through check in at WestJet at Pearson International airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Strong support for pre-flight COVID testing ahead of upcoming WestJet trial: YVR

Airport is partnering with UBC, which is helping choose the method of pre-flight testing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID pandemic during a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau says pandemic ‘really sucks,’ and that Christmas gatherings are up in the air

The prime minister encouraged residents to continue to follow the advice of local health authorities

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Most Read