Local Journalism Initiative
The Hinton Food Bank saw a jump in demand from 57 per week in the first two months of 2020 to 80 on Tuesday, March 17.
Those 80 packages of food included 14 new clients in one week.
This year already saw higher numbers compared to 50 per week in 2019.
“We plan to continue to operate with extra safety protocols and social distancing as long as grocery stores are expected and allowed to stay open,” stated Bernie Kreiner, chair of the Hinton food bank.
He requested more support from the community, especially financially via CanadaHelps.
Kreiner added that monetary donations are preferred at the moment to avoid handling contaminated products.
During the COVID-19 situation, operational changes have been made to expedite client service Tuesdays to reduce wait times and exposure.
The Food Bank has also requested clients and volunteers to stay home if they are immune vulnerable or show any signs of illness.
The Hinton Friendship Centre Society (HFCS) is providing doorstep delivery for those who can’t make it out on Tuesday night for pickup.
Clients can contact them through their Facebook page to arrange the service.
The impacts of everything closing and layoffs in town due to the virus lead the society to the decision to lend a helping hand.
“We knew this would impact a lot of people. Children are offered hot lunch programs in school and our Head Start program and we knew some of these families would be missing that. We just wanted to make sure we’re doing our part in our community and working as a team is far more effective,” said Lisa Higgerty, co-executive director.
Friendship Centre staff pick up the packages of food and then text or call each individual as they drop them off on their doorstep to avoid unnecessary contact between people.
The Hinton Food Bank has helped the HFCS in the past, Higgerty added.
“They are a vital organization to our community. It is so important to remember to donate to them always but especially at times like these,” Higgerty said.
The Hinton Food Bank has also limited their volunteers in the facility to a maximum of 10 while practising social-distancing.
All donated food is being stored untouched for 72 hours in their facility warehouse area to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
To donate money to the Hinton Food Bank, head to CanadaHelps.org and type in Hinton Food Bank Association.