Shirley Coffin (left) and Edith Pitman are longtime volunteers at St Andrews food bank. This week the ladies were busy in the kitchen cooking hot dogs and slicing buns to serve to more than 80 people.

Shirley Coffin (left) and Edith Pitman are longtime volunteers at St Andrews food bank. This week the ladies were busy in the kitchen cooking hot dogs and slicing buns to serve to more than 80 people.

Trail food banks welcome garden produce

Trail food banks are asking residents to drop off any extra garden produce.

Tis the season for backyard gardeners to nurture a patch of fresh veggies and pluck sun-ripened fruit from its branches.

With this in mind, the Trail food banks are asking residents to drop off any extras to help feed the needy.

“This time of year is great for our food bank because people bring in excess produce,” said Reverend Keith Simmonds, from the Trail United Church.

“You don’t have to try to get rid of a zucchini at the neighbours anymore, you can bring it to us.”

The food bank operates three Tuesdays a month and feeds over 100 people a week.

Those wishing to help with time or donations can contact the United Church at 368-3225.

On the other side of the street, the basement of the St. Andrews Anglican Church was a flurry of activity on Tuesday as volunteers readied to feed and provide hampers to over 80 people during its once a month food bank.

“Since the weather has gotten warm our donations are way down,” said coordinator Patti Flack.

“So we do like to remind people with gardens to think of us when their vegetables and fruit trees are ready.”

Flack has been coordinating the food bank since 2009, and along with an army of 28 volunteers sets up the church basement to provide lunch, this week hotdogs, fresh buns, veggies was provided along with homemade goodies donated by her volunteers.

Since she began coordinating the food bank, the number of people using the service has almost tripled.

“There is way more of a need today,” said Flack.

“When I started I had 45 people who came regularly,” she said.

“Now, some weeks we serve up to 120 people including lunch and hampers.”

Running the once a month food bank comes at a cost of $1000, and Flack said that donations of backyard crops help “to fill in the gaps.”

“Demand is high in spring and summer and our supplies get low,” she said.

“Once people are back from their summer homes and return to work and church in September, we hope donations pick up again.”

Until then, fresh produce and non-perishable items can be dropped off at the door of the Pine Avenue church. For more information contact Flack at 364-5729.

The summer months does not slow down need at the Salvation Army food bank on Rossland Avenue.

Linda Radtke, manager, said that in June, 400 families received food hampers and up to 60 meals were served out of its kitchen daily.

“People are so good in the Trail community but we do say if they have any excess in their garden we would love to use it for the people,” she said.

“We’ll even come and help pick it.”

For more information, call the Trail Salvation Army Family Services at 364-0445.


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