Nancy Nagy, volunteer coordinator and client services manager with the Friends In Need Food Bank, with pre-packed bags for clients filled with the basic necessities. (Colleen Flanagan-THE NEWS)

Maple Ridge food bank anticipating a flood of registrations

Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries continue to hand out frozen meals

There has been no surge in temporary registrations for food bank services in Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows even though more and more people are being laid off from their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

However, Mary Robson, executive director of the Friends In Need Food Bank, expects that to change in the coming weeks.

So far only about five people are registering a day, said Robson.

“I’m thinking that as soon as people realize that, gee, I have to pay my rent and I don’t have the money, now what am I going to do for food,” that’s when registration will pick up, she said.

READ MORE: Food bank protocols in place for clients, volunteer and staff in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

A two-metre separation policy is now being enforced outside the facility.

As of Tuesday, designated standing areas were being marked along the sidewalk of the building where people could wait in line.

Robson wasn’t sure how many spaces would be available but said they would be taking names and would notify that person when a spot opens up.

Several cash donations are still coming into the food bank every day through Canada Helps, but it is the perishable food recovery program that Robson is worried about.

“Our perishable food recovery program has been in huge decline,” said Robson, as soon as the panic buying started to happen.

Right now they are getting about 40 totes a day, compared to 140 they were getting before the crisis enfolded.

One food supplier, though, was able to give them eight pallets of fresh product on Tuesday, March 24, and will be able to do the same for the next couple of weeks.

Food banks are working together when it comes to non-perishable foods.

“When one of us is finding a source or we have a surplus, we’re sharing it,” said Robson, reminding people that donation bins are still located at the front of all the grocery stores in town.

Mark Stewart with the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries said they are still handing out frozen meals to people instead of holding community dinners.

“We’re kind of taking it week to week,” he said.

READ MORE: Salvation Army in Maple Ridge limits community meal due to COVID-19 – gives out frozen meals instead

Although they have enough supplies in terms of food, he said, they are low on hand sanitizer and face masks.

Some people who are staying in the emergency shelter or the Ministry’s Genesis Transitional Housing program are choosing to stay indoors, others are leaving and returning to the shelter.

“When people are coming back in we are asking them to wash their hands. And then, before they eat, we are asking people to wash their hands,” said Stewart adding that they are also talking to people about social distancing and about taking care of themselves in general.

They were going to take temperatures as well, noted Stewart, but he can’t find a non-touch thermometer anywhere.

However, they have had no cases of COVID-19 cases through staff or residents, that Stewart knows about.

But, Stewart is worried about their hamper supplies and is hoping that anyone who would like to give will drop off non-perishable goods in their bin located outside the office at 11948 227 St., unit D.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusFood BankSalvation Army

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Work continues on Pitt Meadows own RCMP detachment

City studying whether to renovate offices or build new detachment

Maple Ridge Rotary clubs launch new lottery

Winner could take home up to $85,000

Outpouring of generosity for Christmas Hamper Society after safe stolen

Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows group has recouped stolen $10,000 several times over

Seniors Food Bank starting again in Maple Ridge

The service will be offered every Monday

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Young man assaulted, left for 12 hours until help called in Vancouver’s Strathcona Park

Vancouver police are looking to identify the victim as they investigate an assault on Monday evening

Boulders near Harrison vandalized with derogatory word

Vandalism likely occured between Sunday evening and Tuesday evening

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Most Read