Glen Walvick smiled and waved to volunteers at Nanaimo’s Loaves and Fishes food bank Wednesday as staff loaded his truck with groceries that he couldn’t afford to buy.

“The food bank here has been a lifesaver,” said Glen Walvick.

“I’ve been really stuck. Financially. I always tear up when I talk about it,” said the 62-year-old Nanaimo man.

A new addition to his hamper in recent weeks is eggs. Whole flats of them are being given out after COVID-19 closed restaurants that Vancouver Island egg farmers once stocked.

“We are receiving 9,000 dozen eggs every week,” said Executive Director of Loaves AND Fishes Food Bank Peter Sinclair.

“Those are eggs that were destined for restaurants and with restaurants not running, the chickens still lay and that food needs to go somewhere.”

The egg donations are a whopping 90 times more eggs than the food bank usually hands out.

“Yeah it’s crazy, the amount of eggs,” said Sinclair.

“And that’s every week.”

“When they told me I could get a whole flat of eggs I started baking again,” said Walvick.

“Because I can bake, I can make potato salad, I can plan ahead a little bit.”

Volunteer Robin Fuller said it is a relief to offer so much to struggling clients.

“It’s wonderful,” said Fuller.

The increase in donations has arrived at a time when 25 per cent fewer people are lining up at the Nanaimo food bank’s depots right now. Hampers from its warehouse are now being distributed through a variety of community agencies like Food4Schools through the Nanaimo Ladysmith School District to help vulnerable children access food through the pandemic.

“These guys really are making a big difference,” said Walvick.

“For a lot of people,” he said.

Walvick hopes to no longer depend on the foodbank in a few months. When fully healed up from his surgeries, he will try to get back to work.

Skye Ryan