The Kimberley Food Bank is doing very well amid COVID-19 and the economic turmoil it has caused, according to manager Heather Smith.
“As far as the Food Bank’s concerned, it’s very positive,” Smith said. “It’s way smoother than I actually anticipated it would be, so I’m very happy about that. The people that work for me are just phenomenal.”
At the beginning of April, Smith said they were “absolutely inundated with clients.”
“Then it slowed down considerably, but today, we’re kind of inundated with clients again,” she said. “I’ve been very surprised, because I expected to be really, really busy all the time.”
She said she can’t figure out exactly why the lull in client volume occurred, but she suspects it’s because some of them got enough money from the government and GST that they didn’t need the Food Bank as much.
“Now we certainly had clients, but not as much as we had in the beginning of the month, we were just inundated at the beginning of the month of April,” she explained. “Now today, it’s back up to what it normally is, so I don’t know.”
Like all businesses operating during the pandemic, the Food Bank has made some adjustments to their operating procedures in order to keep their staff and clients safe. Two volunteers come in Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings before the Food Bank opens to sanitize the entire place.
No more than four people are allowed in the building at a time, two screeners and two fillers, and they maintain the recommended six feet apart at all times.
Some of her staff choose to wear gloves and masks and they’ve been stocked up on hand sanitizer courtesy of Bohemian Spirits.
She said she can’t say enough good things about her staff and volunteers who have been working hard throughout this pandemic. She’s lost almost no one, except for a couple who were either immuno-compromised, or have people in their households who are.
She asks that everyone calls in their orders, though some still come to the door, and the staff takes their order from there.
“I have several people that deliver,” Smith said. “They’re not allowed to come in, so everything’s delivered, and my delivery people have been wonderful, absolutely wonderful.”
As well as having a phenomenal team of staff and volunteers, Smith also expressed her gratitude to the community who has been supporting them immensely in recent weeks.
“The people of Kimberley have been just absolutely incredible, with donations and stuff, it’s been mind boggling how much they’re supporting us,” Smith said.
People can continue to support the Food Bank by dropping donations in the bins at the local grocery stores.
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