The Mustard Seed food bank in downtown Victoria is still reeling in the aftermath of a fire that broke out Monday morning.
Despite having to close their doors, staff at the food bank are working around the clock to provide meals by setting up in the parking lot to help those who need it most.
The Mustard Seed’s Director of Operations, Treska Watson, wants people in need to know they are still open and giving out food.
“We want people to know we’re here to help, and they can still come down and access our services hanging out sandwiches, drinks and limited supply of hampers and perishable foods for folks to choose from,” Watson told CHEK News Tuesday.
The Mustard Seed says it’s the largest food bank on Vancouver Island, handing out 3,000 hot meals and 1,200 food hampers monthly. Although staff like Anita Zacker cannot operate how they’re used to, they are just happy to give whatever they can.
“It’s always hard to think that there’s people showing up or like using their resources to come down here and not able to get food to take home. It’s always a sad thought, so I am happy we are here to give them at least something to get them through the day,” added Zacker.
Staff at the Mustard Seed are prepared to work outside and give out food, weather permitting, for the next few weeks or months while they wait for permission to re-enter the building. They estimate there are currently between 45,000-60,000 food-insecure people in the Victoria area.
Those who want to help The Mustard Seed can donate money online here.