The shelves were noticeable bare at the Goldstream Food Bank Society as volunteer Gary Romeike stocked them with anything he could find. Other members were removing the items just as quickly to build hampers for the line up outside.

Food bank shelves emptying

Need for donations just as high in summer, especially welcome is fresh produce

While food drives and fundraisers may be on everyone’s mind during the fall and winter months, food banks often get overlooked in summer.

But the need doesn’t go away. During a recent day, volunteers at the Goldstream Food Bank Society were stocking shelves just as quickly as others were removing items to strategically build hampers for people lining up outside, some of whom had small children in tow.

Volunteers pointed to a number of items that were missing on the labelled shelves.

“Often throughout the year we run out of things like cookies and cereal,” said Linda Turnbull, a volunteer for four years. “They’re the unique things that people will like.”

Other snack items that children usually enjoy, such as pudding cups, were also absent on the shelves that day.

While donations and fundraisers tend to slow down in the summer once the school year is done, Turnbull said some people bring in the overflow from their gardens, especially items such as plums and zucchini. As much as the food bank loves receiving these donations, she added, they only seem to come in for a short time.

The Goldstream Food Bank provides around 320 hampers a month, with about 160 distributed the first week of the month, 100 the second week and the remainder during the third week. The food bank, housed in the basement of the Langford Legion on Station Avenue, is run entirely by volunteers and provides services for View Royal, Langford, Colwood, Highlands and Metchosin.

“No one gets a penny,” said Gloria Driscoll, who’s been volunteering since the doors opened at the current location. She’s part of a team of more than 100 helpers, most of whom are retired, that keep the program running.

Driscoll has noticed lately that donations are coming in sporadically.

“It’s like a roller coaster, you can’t bank on anything. They seem to balance out somehow.”

Learn more about the Goldstream Food Bank at foodbank.islandnet.com.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

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