Salvation Army food bank co-ordinator Dave Sprague is looking for community groups willing to hold food drives to help restock the non-perishable food items that usually fill the shelves at the local food bank.

Cupboards are bare at Nelson food bank

The Salvation Army food bank had to close its doors this week because it didn't have enough non-perishables to give out.

Nelson’s Salvation Army food bank is in desperate need of more donations.

This week the downtown food bank had to close its doors because it didn’t have enough non-perishables to put together the bundles of groceries it would normally hand out.

Major Yvonne Borrows said demand for food is out pacing donations and there’s no money left in the annual budget to restock the shelves.

“The demand has been unexpectedly high for the food bank,” Borrows said, noting the food bank typically provides food to 400 families per month, but by three weeks into November it has already passed that amount. In September the food bank gave out more then 500 grocery bundles.

Each bundle includes enough food to last a week, and includes a mix of canned vegetables, soups, beans or tuna for protein and some pasta or grains.

Salvation Army food co-ordinator Dave Sprague said the supply of pastas and hearty soups are particularly low, but everything is needed.

“There’s a lot of miscellaneous items that come in through food drives, that help us add some variety to the groceries we hand out, and there’s none of that right now,” Sprague said, standing in the food bank room in the lower level of the Salvation Army building.

The food bank is expecting a large donation from Wholesale Club on Monday, which would allow it to reopen its doors. In the meantime, staff have been directing people to the city’s other food bank, The Food Cupboard.

Anna Kirkpatrick at The Food Cupboard said her organization hasn’t experienced the same shortage in supplies. It serves more than 1,000 people per month, and Kirkpatrick said she The Food Cupboard is prepared to handle the temporary increase in visits that could result from the Salvation Army food bank closure.

“We’ve actually been really fortunate, this past month was amazing for local community donations,” Kirkpatrick said. “Still, there’s always a need for more donations. Food comes in and it goes out right away.”

The Salvation Army is currently trying to drum up more food donations by asking community groups to hold food drives and providing donation bins to local businesses that request them.

Burrows said being in a smaller city means the food bank is more dependent on community donations.

“In a big city there’s food distribution warehouses and other sources for large donations, and we just don’t have that here,” she said, noting there are grocery stores in town that donate food or offer discounts, but nothing on the scale of what food banks in larger cites get.

The Salvation Army has started its annual Christmas kettles out and recently did a mail out to request donations. But Borrows said usually Christmas fundraising is the foundation for the next year’s budget.

“It’s worrying, what’s going to next year’s budget if we’re already using it to get through the rest of this year,” she said.

The budget for the food bank is separate from the Salvation Army’s other programs, like Christmas hampers and hot breakfasts served four days per week. Those programs are still being offered while the food bank is closed.

Donations for the Salvation Army food bank can be dropped off at the Salvation Army thrift store at 601 Vernon Street (the food bank is downstairs in the same building) or in the collection bin at Save On Foods and other businesses throughout the city. Cash can also be donated through at the Christmas kettles or dropped off at the Salvation Army thrift store.

Just Posted

Smoky skies force flight cancellations

Air quality in West Kootenay also a health concern

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

Columbia River Treaty negotiators met in Nelson this week

Next session is in Portland in October

UPDATE: Fire forces closures and delays on Highway 3 at Kootenay Pass

Motorists should detour using Kootenay Lake ferry

Evacuation alert issued for City of Kimberley

Three hours after an evacuation order was issued for the St. Mary Valley, an evacuation alert was issued for the nearby community of Kimberley.

PHOTOS: B.C. city wakes up to darkness under wildfire smoke

The rest of the province also dealing with thick haze as smoky skies continue

Safeway union urges prejection of mediator recommendations

Says mediator asks for too many concessions

Fire chases B.C. crews out of their own camp

Crews in Burns Lake had to leave after a wildfire reportedly overtook their sleeping quarters

To address peacock problem, B.C. city moves ahead on trapping plan

Surrey’s new bylaw focuses on ensuring people no longer feed the birds, ahead of relocation

Hospitals to see ‘delays’ in care after losing Saudi students, health group says

About 1,000 Saudi residents called back to kingdom after suspending diplomatic relations with Canada

Bernier diatribe against ‘extreme multiculturalism’ boosts Liberal coffers

Party spokesperson Braeden Caley says online donations doubled, social media engagement quadrupled

‘Disjointed’ system hinders British Columbia First Nations in wildfire fight

More than 550 wildfires were burning in B.C. and crews were bracing for wind and dry lightning

Federal government announces over $115 million to Royal Canadian Navy

Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan was at Victoria’s CFB Esquimalt to announce missile system upgrades

RCMP nab prolific car thief after month-long, B.C.-wide search

A province-wide warrant was issued for Brian Robert Stephan in June for a litany of offences

Most Read