Langley Food Bank executive director Iain Mair said he is very appreciative of the food and monetary donations the food bank receives from community members. Troy Landreville Langley Times

Langley Food Bank aims to brighten Christmas for community’s hungry

Executive director Iain Mair appreciative of people’s generosity

Langley Food Bank executive director Iain Mair says he feels “blessed” to be in such a giving community.

But that doesn’t mean the food bank, which operates out of Langley City at 5768 203 St., as well as in Aldergrove at 27309 Fraser Hwy., doesn’t have a Christmas wish list.

Items most needed are cash, which can be donated online at, grocery store gift cards, canned fruits and vegetables, sandwich spreads (jam, jelly, Nutella), coffee (not Keurig type cups), baby food and formula, diapers (sizes four, five, six, and pull ups), and case lots.

Christmas is a special time at the Langley Food Bank, Mair said: “This is the time of year when we get to encourage our clients and help them in a special way to understand how valuable they are as individuals within our wonderful community.”

However, he said, “life can become very twisted and through many difficult circumstances and not nice experiences, many will face a gloomy Christmas. That is why the Langley Food Bank is here and wants to serve people this Christmas season.”

Mair said the community’s generosity is particularly impressive in December.

“We’re really thankful for that because that helps us into the next year,” said Mair, a former chaplain who has been in charge of the Langley and Aldergrove food banks for the past year-and-a-half.

This year, the food bank has collected turkeys and hams that will be distributed to families for Christmas.

The Langley Food Bank relies on a core group of roughly 35 volunteers who come in every week, and it also has groups in each month who make up another 40 to 50 helpers.

Aldergrove Food Bank has roughly eight to 10 volunteers each week. And as impressed as he is with the number of volunteers who sacrifice their time, Mair has built a strong rapport with many who benefit from the food bank.

“They are so thrilled when they come in,” he said.

“A lot of them say they feel very much energized and very much cared for. And they feel dignity. We really give them the dignity that, unfortunately society, because of where they are… well, it’s hard.”

Clients come from a wide range of backgrounds. Some have lost their jobs and are on employment insurance (EI) or are waiting for their first EI payment, others work part time or minimum wage jobs, and have difficulty making ends meet.

Mair’s wife Bonnie, who is the office administrator, believes that due to constant rent increases in the Langleys, many people’s money runs out well before the month does, leaving little to none left over for groceries.

This is where the donations of food and cash come in — and they are crucial.

“At this time of year, we deeply appreciate all the gifts of food that people support us with,” Iain Mair said. “We profoundly believe our name says it all, we are an extension of (donors) to the people in Langley who need a little support in their time of distress. That is why we are simply ‘The Langley Food Bank.’”

He added, “We as a food bank are truly blessed and thank God for His provisions.”

To register for the food bank, a potential client must be a resident of Langley, have government identification, and proof of income or income sources, and expenses.

The Langley Food Bank’s hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. Call 604-533-0671 or email Call 604-857-1671.

For more on the Langley Food Bank visit

By the numbers

Registered family (singles/couples/families) units — 500 at Langley Food Bank (LFB) and 80 at Aldergrove Food Bank (AFB);

• On a weekly basis, 700 people are provided groceries at the LFB and 115 clients at AFB;

• On a monthly basis, roughly 2,800 people receive groceries at the LFB and 450 people at the AFB;

• LFB has 40 Syrian immigrant families registered while AFB has six Syrian immigrant families registered;

• LFB is open for grocery distribution Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.;

• AFB distributes groceries to its clients from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the first four Tuesdays a month.

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