Letters to the EditorTop Story

Food bank needs help, nearing the end of its limit, says head

Dear Editor:

This letter is to the general public, our suppliers and supporters to try to clarify what we are and our operations.

We are open to the public for hamper delivery from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to Friday.  Applicants must provide basic information and proof of need. MCP numbers are required.  Hampers are prepared to suit the number in the applicant’s family. We do not deliver hampers.

Hampers can be picked up by a second source provided the food bank is notified in advance in writing and hampers must be signed for. If you are from any organization or church be advised that we will only provide enough food for the number of people on record. We must do that as some people go through churches and say they need it picked up for more than the number on record.

The food bank is owned by the churches in Paradise and CBS and two councils, each of which has a seat on the board. We have one paid part time staff member, and contrary to popular opinion, she does not own the food bank, she does not live at the food bank, and is not on 24/7 call. Please refrain from calling her after the hours posted above, especially at home after hours. We close for two weeks every summer to give our staff and volunteers a much-needed break. It’s amazing that in an area of almost 50,000 people, we cannot get more than 20 volunteers to assist.

Our numbers are growing; we expect to see 400+ hampers a month going out in the near future as the economy worsens. With an increase in numbers and a decrease in both volunteers and donations, we may have to again review what and how we give. For those who wish specialty items like milk, or any other brand name, we cannot supply what is not donated. Also, for anyone with a grocery list, we do not fill those lists, hampers are prepared in advance. Extras like meats or produce can only be provided when we have it. 

We have several freezers and two coolers, so we can accept frozen or chilled foods and produce. We also buy meats when possible if the funds are available. About 30 per cent of food donations are outdated, much by several years. We cannot give this out if it is too old, and that drives up our garbage disposal costs and eats up volunteer time that could be better used. 

We welcome volunteers, we need drivers, shelf stockers and whatever Fay requires from day to day to keep the food bank running. We hope that with the pandemic slowing down that donations will soon come back, and cash or gift certificate donations would be the best way to help. We also hope that those who donated regularly before the pandemic will come back again.

Also, with several Catholic Churches closing in the area, some large donations from these will now cease. In short, we are looking at some difficult years ahead with increased clients and decreased income. In the last several months of 2021, with the small exception of December, expenses were greater than revenue, and at this rate, it is unsustainable. We cannot continue to operate at this capacity. 

We now appeal to the communities of CBS and Paradise to come together again to assist us in keeping this vital service going.

Peter Wells,


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