Food Basket fillers needed to meet big summer demand

Cowichan Food Basket boss Colleen Vigeant with her facility
Cowichan Food Basket boss Colleen Vigeant with her facility's empty shelves needing canned foods and more chow now.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Rising food demand as needy folks huddle together during tough times has left Cowichan Valley food basket boss Colleen Vigeant calling for public help this summer.

"We're feeding more people," she said, surveying fast-emptying shelves in her core Duncan hamper below the food basket's busy soup kitchen.

More volunteers, canned food and tax-deductible cash are the main items her food facility needs now.

"With cash, we can go and buy food," she explained.

The food basket helped slightly more folks a year ago as now — 428 in May 2011, versus 437 last month — though Vigeant said overall deamand is rising while Cowichanians in need are moving in together to share living costs.

"There's no low-cost housing available here, and there's an increase in rents and utilities — people are struggling."

Volunteer Peter Delange agreed.

"That big semi filled with food from Christmas is gone," he said in the hamper room, dismissing the myth food banks are busiest at yuletide.

"We basically need everything from canned fruit and veggies to port-and-beans."

Last year, the food basket at 5810 Garden St. served 40,918 soups,33,962 sandwiches, and prepared 51,596 hampers that fed a total of 7,706 adults and 4,765 children.

For more, call 250-746-1566.

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