The Pemberton Food Bank – operated by the Sea to Sky Community Services Society and primarily serving Pemberton and it’s surrounding communities – has seen a FOUR-FOLD INCREASE in demand for emergency food support since the start of the pandemic.
“We would like to send a huge shout out to our community members and all of our surrounding communities for all the collaboration and support in getting food to those in need, especially to those in isolation. Every single monetary donation helps regardless of the amount. ” (Pemberton Food Bank)
In mid April, the Squamish Lillooet Regional District launched a regional food bank drive, in an effort to leverage the strength in numbers, and buying power of cash, to help locals in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As people find their lives upended in myriad ways, the demands on our social services are extraordinary,” explained SLRD Chair Tony Rainbow at the time. “Any one of us could find ourselves in need of these services,” he said. “We are in a period of many unknowns. Not only is this a health crisis, but also an economic one and many people are suddenly out of work or on reduced hours, and many businesses are having to close or greatly reduce their operations. Food banks in our communities are already an essential lifeline for residents who need this service, but now, the need is rising sharply. People all around us who were doing just fine, and those who were just getting by, are suddenly needing support to put food on the table.”
Feed the Need allows for online donations to be made through the Sea to Sky Community Services website: www.sscs.ca/FEED-THE-NEED/
Donors can direct their donation to one of the following:
- Squamish Food Bank
- Whistler Food Bank
- Pemberton Food Bank
- Lillooet Food Bank
- General SLRD Regional Food Bank Donation
Tax receipts will be issued upon confirmation of payment. Sea to Sky Community Services will disperse funds to the specific food banks where the option is chosen, but will not determine how the regional funds will be dispersed. These decisions will be made by a committee comprised of representatives from the SLRD. Regional distribution will be based on greatest need, determined by current and projected demand.
The Pemberton food bank is accessible Monday through Thursday by appointment.
“As the demand of our food bank begins to grow during these difficult times, I encourage those that are able, to contribute to this critical community service. During these uncertain times, food security should always be a certainty. No contribution is too small. Our collective efforts will have a large impact on many families in need at this time,” said Pemberton Mayor, Mike Richman.
Sea to Sky Community Services is pleased to be engaged in the project and to act as a conduit to get these much-needed donations out into the community, recognizing that food banks have more buying power with cash donations, than with food items. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s also important to minimize the handling of food, and accepting food item donations at this time poses a number of challenges: monetary donations are the preferable option at this time.
“We’re so grateful for the support of the SLRD in pulling this initiative together,” said Jaye Russell, Executive Director of Sea to Sky Community Services (SSCS), which operates the Pemberton food bank in addition to many other vital services and programs to help children, youth, adults, seniors and families.
“Providing food to those in need is always a challenge, and the COVID-19 health crisis has put an even greater strain on all food banks as we work hard to give support to an ever-increasing number of people experiencing job loss and financial insecurity. Financial donations will be crucial in helping us continue to provide food to those who are most vulnerable in this health crisis,” she said.