The restructuring of Enderby’s food bank is well underway.
A board of directors has the goal of continuing the community program after Vernon’s Salvation Army decided to withdraw from the service.
“A monthly food hamper program is crucial to the health of our community,” said Scott Hemenway, Feed Enderby and District Food Bank chairperson.
“We are determined to have a food bank that effectively meets Enderby’s needs. Without the Salvation Army on board, Enderby has to find other ways to keep our cupboards full and hampers going out the door every month.”
The food bank currently has sufficient resources to carry on with the Nov. 20 food bank and the annual Realtors Food Drive in early December helps fill Christmas hampers distributed Dec. 18.
“After that, we will be looking at empty cupboards and very little money in the bank,” said Hemenway.
“But we are working to change that.”
FED is being operated under the umbrella of the Food Action Committee for Today and Tomorrow, which currently runs as part of the Enderby and District Community Resource Centre.
But FED is in the process of registering with Food Banks B.C. and FACT will apply to be a charitable society in the new year.
“Being part of Food Banks B.C. will give Enderby access to its national food sharing system and that will be extremely helpful,” said Hemenway.
“But we will need help get us through what we expect to be a lean period.”
FED is hoping other community groups offering food hampers join together.
“We want to be effective in how we deliver this important service and how we use community resources,” said Hemenway.
“So we would like to see all the different groups doing hampers to come together and do it at FED.”
The Enderby Evangelical Chapel provides an average of three to four food hampers each week to people in need but the chapel is discontinuing its food hampers and providing FED with $800.
EDCRC’s emergency food pantry is also being phased out after Nov. 3 and any leftover food and funds will be transferred to FED.
FED is currently creating its policies and procedures manual and wants to increase awareness about the need for donations and that the food bank is still operating at St. Andrew’s United Church.
Food bank volunteers begin intake interviews for Christmas hampers Nov. 27. People can call 250-838-7315 for an intake appointment.
“I think this is a huge opportunity,” said Enderby Mayor Greg McCune, who has offered warehouse space at Sutherland’s Bakery to FED.
“I really think our community will rally and make this a huge success.”
Tax receipts for donations to FED are being issued by the EDCRC. Food donations can be dropped off at St. Andrew’s United Church.