The Friends in Need Food Bank is now helping seniors by going to them.
“We know there’s a need there,” said Mary Robson, executive director of the food bank that services both Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
“If they are not coming to us, then we will go to them.”
Robson said seniors will sometimes underestimate their level of need.
“It’s pride, and they say they don’t want to take away from the young families that need it.
The food banks are offered at the Maple Ridge Seniors Activity Centre on Mondays from 10 a.m. to noon.
Robson said the new program has been deliberately given a gradual start.
“It’s growing, but we’re starting very slow and quiet,” said Robson.
Bev Schmahmann, the outreach coordinator for Ridge Meadows Seniors Society, believes more seniors will access this service than would attend at the food bank building.
“You’ve got seniors standing outside, and it’s raining and it’s cold,” she said. “And the other thing is the confidentiality piece.”
The seniors’ food bank is confidential, and there is no public lineup.
Schmahmann said the donated food includes perishables such as fresh produce, bread, milk, eggs and even meat, to go with canned goods and non-perishable items.
She said it’s a great way to stretch a small, fixed income.
“That food is going to make a huge difference to their incomes,” she said.
The food bank will be looking for another weekly seniors’ food bank serving Pitt Meadows, and Robson said an outreach at the Pitt Meadows Seniors Centre, to start in December, is in the planning stages.