The president of Castlegar’s food bank is encouraging people to think twice before they empty store shelves and hoard supplies.
“To a person with no money, empty store shelves is absolutely frightening,” said Deb McIntosh.
“The worst feeling you can have is when people are out stocking up for the long term, and you have no money or no means of transportation.”
“Not having the option of looking after your family for a longer term than you usually do is horrifying. To see people taking things they don’t necessarily need, and leaving other people in the lurch is so unnecessary.”
“In a panic or crisis situation, this kind of behaviour shows that low income people are on their own.”
The food bank is doing fine as far as supplies for hampers are concerned, but they could use gift cards with values around $25 so clients can purchase what they need, when they need it, or when it is actually available.
“We can’t solve all of the issues for people, but we can make sure they feel a little less vulnerable,” added McIntosh.
The food bank has stopped its lunch gatherings, but is still offering meals to take out.
Socializing during hamper pick up days has also been halted. Clients can pick up their hamper along with a coffee and lunch to go on Monday, Wednesday or Friday between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.