Jim Calamunce, executive director of the Langley Food Bank, seen here outside the Langley City main location on Dec. 7, said demand has “skyrocketed” both there and at their Aldergrove location in recent months. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Jim Calamunce, executive director of the Langley Food Bank, seen here outside the Langley City main location on Dec. 7, said demand has “skyrocketed” both there and at their Aldergrove location in recent months. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)

Langley food banks struggle with increased demand

Both Sources Food Bank and the Langley Food Bank have seen sharp rise in client numbers

Both Langley food banks have seen a surge in demand in recent months, with the Langley Food Bank and Sources Langley Food Bank hard pressed to keep up.

Sources, which is based in Langley Township and opened an Aldergrove distribution depot in March, is seeing a decline in contributions.

“Donations are really down,” , by as much a third, estimated Sources program manager Jaye Murray.

“I think it’s the cost of food,” Murray speculated. “People can’t afford as much. It costs more [to donate].”

The drop comes at a time when the number of Sources clients has “more than doubled from recent years,” Murray said.

“We’re seeing about 1,000 people in Langley now,” and Aldergrove is currently serving 78 households. Murray told the Langley Advance Times.

Items needed include canned tuna, salmon, chicken, ham, chili, and stew, as well as rice, rolled oats, peanut butter, whole wheat pasta, fresh or canned fruit and vegetables, “100 per cent” fruit juice, chick peas and other assorted beans, tea, coffee, soups and canned tomatoes.

“We greatly need the support,” Murray said.

READ ALSO: Demand growing for food bank in Aldergrove

Sources is also in need of “regular volunteers, looking for long-term volunteering as well as businesses interested in doing a one time shift,” Murray added.

Volunteer Andrew Penny was sorting supplies at the Sources Langley Food Bank in December, 2020. Increasing demand and declining donations are a challenge for the food bank, which recently opened an Aldergrove distribution centre. (Langley Advance Times file)

Volunteer Andrew Penny was sorting supplies at the Sources Langley Food Bank in December, 2020. Increasing demand and declining donations are a challenge for the food bank, which recently opened an Aldergrove distribution centre. (Langley Advance Times file)

Sources Langley Food Bank website is https://www.sourcesbc.ca/our-services/sources-langley-food-bank/ and the food bank can be reached at email: foodbank@sourcesbc.ca or phone 604-532-5290.

Jim Calamunce, executive director of the Langley Food Bank, which also operates distribution centres in Langley City and Aldergrove, said its client numbers are “really skyrocketing.”

In November, Calamunce said the food bank was serving 1,000 to 1,150 people every week at their Langley and Aldergrove locations, and the numbers are growing, with more than 40 new families registered every month.

Totals for the month show 1,781 family visits and 4,467 individuals served.

“We just need a lot more of the basics,” Calamunce told the Langley Advance Times.

“Soups, canned fruit is a big one, we hardly ever get canned fruit, canned meat, canned fish, we need rice, we need baking supplies [like] flour, oil.”

Online, the food bank issues an appeal for more macaroni, cereal, and pasta.

READ ALSO: Need for healthy meals and food bank support growing

Donors are coming through, Calamunce observed, especially schools and churches.

“The other day, I picked up 30 boxes from Lynn Fripps Elementary school,” Calamunce commented.

“They’re [schools and churches] really stepping up. They’re still being very generous with what they give us.”

Both food banks are also serving refugees from Ukraine.

Calamunce said the newcomers are often shocked by the high cost of food in Canada, and become first-time food bank clients as a result. Murray said the refugees are often single-parent families.

“We’re registering them weekly,” Murray said.

The Langley Food Bank website is https://langleyfoodbank.comand can be reached by email: info@langleyfoodbank.com or phone: 604-533-0671.


Have a story tip? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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