Food bank a friend to former campers

Those cleared off Cliff Avenue are now living more stable lives in homes or apartments, and a change which is being felt at the food bank

The numbers of hampers being given out each month is now between 750 and 800.

The numbers of hampers being given out each month is now between 750 and 800.

The 60 or so people cleared off Cliff Avenue in September are now living more stable lives in homes or apartments, a change which is being felt at the Friends in Need Food Bank.

“A lot of these people that were brought on, are now my clients,” said food bank operations supervisor Chuck Griffith.

“The outreach workers are bringing them in … to make sure they are being taken care of. I will see one outreach worker sometimes five times in a day. They’ll be coming back and forth with clients all day long.

“The outreach workers are doing a fantastic job getting them into us.”

That’s increased demand at the food bank. The numbers of hampers being given out each month is now between 750 and 800.

But the food bank is managing to cope by still being able to provide hampers to all registrants and most of what’s needed to the former campers.

“So far, so good,” said Griffith.

He added that the former Cliff Avenue residents are either sharing homes or living in basement suites, or apartments or in Alouette Heights supportive housing.

“They’ve been found places to put them all over Maple Ridge.”

A drop in donations to the food bank this Christmas season could make it tough for this spring and summer. Christmas is a time for stocking up for the year ahead.

Usually, the Christmas in the Park and Santa Claus Parade, which took place Saturday, brings in about 230 kilograms of groceries.

This time the food bank collected only about 53 kg.

Donations were also down from a Nov. 22 Chances Maple Ridge event.

“From our events that we’re doing, we’re just not seeing the response this year on donations.”

Two big events remain, though, which Griffiths hopes will allow the food bank to stock up.

This Saturday, outside all the big grocery stores in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, firefighters will be collecting cash and food in their annual Firefighters for Families drive.

And on Friday, Dec. 18, the CP Holiday Train steams into town and stops at Port Haney station in Maple Ridge at 7:30 p.m. and at Harris Road in Pitt Meadows at 8:30 p.m.

Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo and his son Devin, as well as country singer Kelly Prescott will provide the entertainment.

The concert is free, but people are asked to bring a food donation to their local food bank in return. The food bank this time needs canned fruit, vegetables and tomatoes.

“We’re really hoping that the community comes out for that event.”

Griffith said donations depend on the state of the local economy, “and what I call the Christmas glow.”

But there are many charities from which people can choose.

“So we’re competing with a lot of different organizations.”

 

Just Posted

Students at James Cameron school contributed their original stories and illustrations to class books which were then published. (Special to The News)
Students with dyslexia at Maple Ridge school become published authors

Each contributed a story and illustration to a class book

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

The Outdoor Recreation Council of B.C. says the province continues to invest too little in BC Parks, compared with public demand. (Special to The News)
Outdoor rec group decries parks funding

Golden Ears Park packed by record numbers of visitors

Community residents, businesses, and youth are all encouraged to complete economic development surveys. (The News files)
City of Maple Ridge asks for community input on economic development

Three surveys available online will help shape strategy for years to come

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Schools in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows exposed to COVID-19

Davie Jones and Hammond elementary schools have confirmed cases

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Penticton mayor John Vassilaki and Minister of Housing David Eby have been battling over the Victory Church shelter and BC Housing projects in the city. (File photos)
Penticton heads to court over homeless shelter as BC Housing audit begins

The city was not satisfied with the response from Minister David Eby regarding the ongoing situation

People enjoy the sun at Woodbine Beach on June 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
BC Hydro assures customers it has ‘more than enough’ power to weather the heatwave

Despite an increase of pressure on the Western grid, blackouts are not expected like in some U.S. states

Air Canada planes sit on the tarmac at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Pilots say no reason to continue quarantines for vaccinated international travellers

Prime minister says Canada still trying to limit number of incoming tourists

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

Police closed off 16th Avenue between 232nd and 240th streets in Aldergrove Saturday night at the site of a reported motor vehicle accident. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Survivors of rollover crash thank Good Samaritans for coming to their aid

Collision flipped vehicle into a 10-foot ditch on 16th Avenue in Langley

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Most Read