Food bank narrows service next year

St. Andrew's will no longer be offering take-home groceries next year.

Unable to meet the demand of growing patronage with church and community donations, a downtown Trail food bank will no longer offer take-home groceries next year.

Resources for St. Andrew’s Anglican Church once-a-month food bank have been spread thin for awhile now.

“Recent donations have steadily declined,” says Rev. Neil Elliot. “This means the hand-out of free groceries cannot continue past March, a time frame already deeply stretching present resources.”

He acknowledged ongoing support from faithful donors and community contributors, but supply simply cannot meet demand past the next four months.

“The food bank will continue to operate normally through March,” Elliot confirmed. “This allows food bank guests a transition planning period through the colder months.”

The service began as a modest food program in the 90s, serving 40 locals. Over time, the food bank grew into community-based outreach, feeding more than 100 people one Tuesday each month.

Handing out mostly non-perishable food items to families and individuals tops $1,000 per month, rendering the church-sponsored program unsustainable.

“We aren’t closing our doors, but we are reshaping our ministry to fit our resources,” Elliot said. “We are excitedly exploring different ways we can help the same guests find healthy food in a safe welcoming space.”

Instead of bagged staples, the church plans to serve a free meal, once a month.

The new program, called the St. Andrew’s Iona Cafe, has a goal to provide healthy food on site and support social time.

“However, there will be no groceries to take home,” Elliot reiterated, adding, “there may also be opportunity to provide some resource information on life skills, housing and other programs that may be available.”

Community support for the new service model is welcome, says the reverend.

He encourages those with ideas or gifts to contact St. Andrew’s at 231.0124 or by email,

Earlier this year, a campaign with the catchphrase “Tuesdays in Trail” began.

The aim was twofold. First, to spread word that anyone in need of a hand up will get it that day at St. Andrew’s or across the street at the Trail United Church.

And second, Tuesdays in Trail was a community reminder that the churches worked together every week to run the food banks, and neither volunteer nor donor has to be a congregation member.

As usage continued to swell, St. Andrew’s had to significantly cut back the number of canned goods in each bag.

Then in July, the church stopped providing a sandwich or hot dog lunch, which was a service traditionally provided along with a food hamper.

Still averaging 106 grocery bags at its food bank throughout summer, the cupboards in St. Andrew’s were bare and money stretched to the limit.

“The fact is our donor base is changing,” Trish Milne, the food bank coordinator said at the time, mentioning both churches have lost a considerable base of long term donors and volunteers since last year.

“We need help to fill that gap.”

Just Posted

Mounties warn about open liquor at Rossland Carnival

They’ll be out there watching for illegal drinking

The Trail Smoke Eaters win in a shootout over Wenatchee Wild

The Trail Smoke Eaters split its two-game series against the Wenatchee Wild on weekend

River rising in Trail

For up-to-date reservoir elevation and river flow information, visit BC Hydro’s website

Former ski champ and MLA’s son hope to open Castlegar cannabis store next month

Felix Belczyk and Ben Conroy are in the approval process for local Spiritleaf outlet

Victorian-era magnate, con artist had Rossland connections

New book explores fascinating history of Whitaker Wright

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

New military armoury opens in Cranbrook

Military presence in the Key City a part of the 44th Engineer Squadron

Most Read