Sorting through recovered food from Nanaimo grocery stores Tuesday, Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes Food Bank volunteer Deirdre Leighton was focused on weeding out the good pieces of produce from the bad.
“So that one can’t go out,” Deirdre Leighton said as she sorted through produce.
“But look at all that can.”
She is finding real purpose in being part of a chain that’s bringing food that would be going to waste to those who need it.
“And it’s packed with love,” said the Nanaimo woman.
“It’s a shame to see it go to waste,” said volunteer Barry French who also sorts food.
“This is an excellent project,” he said.
The Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes Food Recovery program is already feeding 8,200 clients in Nanaimo It is now bringing the program north.
A truck packed full with crates of food salvaged from grocery stores will be headed north 400 kilometres to Port Hardy on Wednesday as Nanaimo’s Loaves & Fishes Food bank extends its reach to serve the hungry of the North Island too now.
“We’re seeing a huge need,” said Nanaimo Loaves and Fishes Executive Director Peter Sinclair.
“So far we have helped over 430 different people,” he said.
With the spread of COVID-19, there’s growing concern that a need from people who fall sick or self-quarantine will increase the demand on already dwindling supplies. Donations of non-perishable items are already down.
“As people aren’t able to go to work because they’re sick, they may not have sick leave and so they don’t have as much money and they need to access the food bank,” said Sinclair.
“The other thing that we’re anticipating is we could potentially see donations drop because of it as people are holding the food for themselves.”
It makes the sorting Nanaimo volunteers are doing all the more critical.
“Because we are a hub and we share a lot,” said Leighton.
Nanaimo’s food bank is appealing for donations of non-perishable items to help stock up as the need is anticipated to grow to a level not seen before.