The Kimberley Food Bank remains open. Jesse Heinrichs photo

Helping Hands Food Bank facing added pressure.

Food Bank will remain open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays

JESSE HIENRICHS

The Helping Hands Food Bank in Kimberely will remain open in a time where many businesses, churches, and non-profits have had to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Food banks across the province are facing pressure because of an increased cliental, and because of uncertainty around food industry donors.

“Until this crisis is over we are expecting an increase in clientele,” said Donna Purvis, president of the Helping Hands Food Bank.

“Kimberley has always pulled together in a time of need — This crisis will be no different,” she said.

In order to protect the health of their clients and volunteers, the Helping Hands Food Bank is asking that clients only enter the building one at a time.

They are asking that if another client is already in the building, that people wait outside until they are called in.

In addition, there will be predetermined times for hamper pickup, and they are asking for clients not to be late.

Although going out in public has obvious risks, the food bank is making sure everything is being kept up to standard.

“Sanitation is a top priority,” said Purvis.

“Surfaces and door knobs will be cleaned frequently.”

As another precautionary measure, the Helping Hands Food Bank has cancelled bingo until further notice.

If someone would like to donate to the foodbank, they are still accepting any, and all donations.

If you are able, it would be appreciated if cash donations be mailed to the Food Bank at 340 Leadenhall St, Kimberley, BC V1A 2B1. Food donations can be placed in the bins at Mark Creek Market or Save On Kimberley.

Grant Farquhar from the United Steelworkers Local I-45, which includes many East Kootenay employees says the USW has already stepped up to assist food banks.

“The Steelworkers Humanity Fund is doubling our commitment to food banks in 2020,” said Ken Neumann, President of the Steelworkers Humanity Fund and Canadian National Director for the United Steelworkers (USW).

“The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic disruption will affect the most vulnerable and poorest in our communities in every part of Canada and we must collectively take steps to ensure they are supported. To do our part, the Steelworkers Humanity Fund (SHF) is immediately contributing $220,000 to 112 food banks and community food centres so that they are better prepared for the impact of COVID-19. By making this contribution now, we can assist these community-based organizations as they address the health and safety implications of COVID-19 as well as the economic fall-out,” said Neumann.

The immediate contribution of the SHF will be in addition to the annual contributions the SHF makes in November of each year in communities where members of the United Steelworkers live and work.

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