Mary Robson, executive director of the Friends In Need Food Bank, is renting two additional facilities to store food and create space among volunteers and staff. (The News/files)

Mary Robson, executive director of the Friends In Need Food Bank, is renting two additional facilities to store food and create space among volunteers and staff. (The News/files)

New COVID protocols for Maple Ridge food bank requires more storage

Non-perishables to be stored for two days before being handed out to clients

New protocols have been put in place at the food bank in Maple Ridge to ease anxieties as COVID-19 case counts skyrocket across the province.

The Friends In Need Food Bank will now be holding non-perishable food items for 48 hours before the food is distributed to clients.

“It’s just adding burden to another area of the food bank to open up space for the isolation phase,” said Mary Robson, the food bank’s executive director.

“We’ve got people who are doing the food drives are coming to us and saying we can do this safely,” which is really positive, noted Robson, especially seeing the community come together.

However, they have had to reconfigure their warehouse in addition to moving product off-site.

Robson is currently renting two warehouses. One warehouse is for pallets of food they bought using federal funding during the first wave of the pandemic.

“When the pandemic first hit, the food chain broke. So we were running out of inventory,” explained Robson.

READ MORE: Almost 500,000 kgs of perishable food distributed from Maple Ridge food bank facility

When the food chain opened up again they were able to use the funding to purchase pallets of canned soup, pasta and tomato sauce.

There is about two months worth of food stored in case something, “really went sideways”.

The other site they are renting is two doors down from the society on Dewdney Trunk Road. It is an 800 square foot area that was once Hart’s TV Service before the owner, Butch Hart, retired, at the beginning of the pandemic.

“The timing couldn’t have been better,” noted Robson, who is using the space for her volunteers to be able to socially distance from one another as they sort and make hampers for clients.

Robson’s staff and volunteers are becoming anxious as COVID-19 cases in the province have reached record numbers. Some have had to take COVID-relief days off, said Robson.

READ MORE: Downtown Maple Ridge BIA helping to stock the shelves for the food bank

To ease some of that anxiety, masks are now mandatory throughout the Friends In Need Food Bank facilities.

“We’ve had it for our volunteers working outside with our clients but now we have it for everybody,” explained Robson.

And because of the added space and the mask mandate, volunteers that didn’t feel comfortable working in the warehouse before, have now come back.

So far this year, Robson is not seeing many new registrations.

“It is not like what we thought we’ld see,” she said. Mostly she is seeing families who were previous clients at the food bank re-registering.

Registrations at the Friends In Need Food Bank are by appointment only. To make an appointment in Maple Ridge call 604-466-3663, ext. 206. for Pitt Meadows call 604-460-4619.

For more information on what identification to bring go to friendsneedfood.com.


 

cflanagan@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Food Bankmaple ridgePitt Meadows

Just Posted

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 20

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

New mural at Glenwood Elementary School designed by Jillian Currie. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge school to unveil new mural

Grizzly bear mural to be unveiled on National Indigenous Peoples Day

Letter writer Sarah Chesterman is urging society to protect nature, noting old growth forests provide homes for animals such as this endangered western screech owl. (Special to The News)
LETTER: Maple Ridge resident urges people to value trees for more than money

Preserving old growth forests are vital to the survival of humans, letter writer says

The vigil will be held on the grounds of Holy Spirit Anglican Church in Whonnock. (Google Maps/Special to The News)
Bells will be tolling in Maple Ridge for victims of former residential school

The bells at Holy Spirit Anglican Church will toll 215 times on Monday, June 21

Share your opinion via email, through our website or in a posted letter. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Maple Ridge man critical of public’s gullibility

News has become entertainment and public only has itself to blame, letter writer says

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

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

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read