Food supplies tight at Broadway Place in Smithers

  • Feb. 4, 2011 10:00 a.m.

Broadway Place is looking for a little extra pick-me-up in the form of coffee and other donations after their drop-in centre saw a spike of over 500 per cent in use.

Over the course of last year they went from handling about 120 people in a month, serving out coffee and sandwiches, to 732. Now that they’re handling six times as many drop-ins, their stockpile of coffee and certain foods has been stretched to the max.

Pauline Taekema said the increase in use is not so much a growing community need but a growing community awareness of their service.

“We just noticed an increase in say May, and it just kept on increasing by 30, 40, 50, and then pretty soon we went from 120 to 422, to 622, to 732,” said Taekema. “It’s just been increasing as people are becoming more aware of the services that we actually offer here.”

It’s not just food. She said there has been an increase in other services such as their laundry and shower.

For the coffee, she said they’ve gone “from making just a couple of pots a day to making four pots in the morning, four pots in the afternoon, four pots in the evening.”

Broadway Place itself can have nine people inside it at a time, however their drop-in window works separately.

In all, the entire list of what they currently need, as written on Smithers Community Services’ website, is: coffee, sugar, coffee whiteners, mugs or paper cups, peanut butter and jam, and canned tuna.

“We’ve actually had to go peanut butter and jam because it was something a little cheaper instead of serving tuna salads or egg salad sandwiches,” said Taekema.

The community has been incredibly generous already, she said, with lots of donations, even with clothes like jackets and gloves.

For the time being it is the day-to-day items that they need help with.

“It’s the things that we go through on a daily basis that we need to replenish all the time.”

For more information or to find out what is currently needed, people can call 250-847-4660.