By David F. Rooney
The cupboards at the Community Connections Food Bank will be at least a little less bare after last Friday’s the Revelstoke RCMP Detachment’s Police Week BBQ raised over $500 for the Food Bank. It was a well-attended affair and the Mounties proved they certainly know how to burn a decent burger.
Food Bank Manager Patti Larson said that while the BBQ helps out, Revelstokians need to realize that the the cupboards truly are bare.
It operates with out any federal or provincial funding and needs more than $100,000 a year to operate. That money comes, for the most part, from ordinary Revelstokians, she said.
They don’t just contribute cash, either, but food as well.
First, of course, there were the annual Grow A Row and Gleaning Programs undertaken several years ago in collaboration with local vegetable gardeners and Revelstoke Bear Aware to encourage them to collect windfallen fruit and donate it to the Food Bank. They have been quite successful, especially since the establishment of the community gardens that new programs have sprung into being.
Patti said that innovative new programs such as the Food Waste Diversion Program are a huge help. Community Connections is one of three agencies — the others are the Kamloops and Nanaimo Food Banks — that are developing a manual to help other BC food banks start food waste diversion programs.
The provincial government announced it was giving Food Banks BC $10 million to develop a food recovery program that would ensure the proper transportation and refrigeration of perishable food items like fresh produce, dairy and meat. $6.5 million will go towards transportation needs and $3.5 million will go to refrigeration at food banks across the province.
Revelstoke has run a food recovery program since 2016, which has seen distribution of thousands of kilograms of meat and other products to Food Bank clients.
Will the provincial government back other programs that benefit economically disadvantaged BC families? Patti certainly hopes so.