The Fraser Valley Regional Food Bank continues to expand.
“Due to demand, we’re now adding a third day of service,” said Matthew Campbell, director for the food bank and the Cloverdale Community Kitchen.
The Fraser Valley Regional Food Bank (FVRFB) initially went from zero registered families to 300 in a few months. Campbell noted that number is now at 400 and climbing.
“The need continues to rise, so now we’ll be open on Tuesdays.”
Campbell said they’ll start their new schedule beginning Feb. 16. With the additional day, the food bank will then be open mornings (Thursdays from 10 – 11:30 a.m.), afternoons (Tuesdays from 1 – 3 p.m.), and evenings (Mondays from 5 – 7 p.m.).
“The lineups were getting too long on Monday and Thursday,” explained Campbell. “The demand for food was getting so great, that we thought, ‘Why don’t we spread the crowd out a bit?’ So we’re trying to offer everyone a few options.”
Part of those options include expanding their operating time on Mondays. The FVRFB is currently only open until 6:30 p.m. that day, but Campbell said when they expand to Tuesdays in mid-February, they’ll also begin to stay open on Mondays until 7 p.m.
“We’re finding that we’re supporting a lot of the working poor; those who have jobs, but still can’t make ends meet. Not many food banks are open in the evenings and many of the working poor can’t get here during the day time,” Campbell explained.
He said representatives from other food banks have told him that by adding more days and expanding service times Campbell will see an increase in the number of people using the food bank.
“We’re going to have to source more food,” noted Campbell. “We’ll have to keep an eye on what happens. We’ve been doing pretty well at sourcing food—and the community has been such a great support, we can’t thank them enough—but we’re going to have to keep looking for more donations.”
Campbell said they are starting to get more and more calls from companies with fresh food to share. And though he’s confident the trend will continue, he knows they’ll need to reach out for donations even more.
Campbell added with the increase in days and hours also comes an increase in the need for helpers to fill those days and hours.
“We are looking for more volunteers. We need volunteers for Tuesday mornings to help sort food and we need volunteers for Tuesday afternoons to help give out food.”
Campbell said if anyone wants to volunteer with the FVRFB, they can call 778-617-3000, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If anyone is in need of the food bank’s services, Campbell said people can sign up at the food bank during opening hours. “Please bring photo ID, proof of address, and proof of income, if you wish to register.”
The Fraser Valley Regional Food Bank is located at 5337 180 Street.