Kelly Spurway hands out bag lunches out of the Salvation Army’s mobile community support unit on Main Street in Smithers March 20. The Soup Kitchen is closed, but the organization continues to provide lunches Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. (Thom Barker photo)

Demand for food hampers surges with COVID-19

Pick-up suspended, but Salvation Army will deliver

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for Salvation Army’s services are surging.

Kelly Spurway said they have done up 50 emergency hampers this week in Smithers and Houston, about double the normal demand.

Although they continue to provide for those in needs, they are taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The soup kitchen is closed, but they continue to hand out paper bag lunches, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in Smithers out of their mobile community support unit.

The food bank is also not accepting food donations at the moment, but will accept monetary support for those wishing to help.

Community ministry director for The Salvation Army in the Bulkley Valley Adam Marshall said they will also continue to put together food hampers, but they are not open for pick up.

“If anyone contacts me directly and says I have to self-quarantine or self-isolate and I don’t have any food and not had the opportunity to stock up, we are willing to do what we can— I don’t want offer the world but I’m doing what we can as an organization to supply some cans of food. It isn’t something we’ve seen a huge need for yet,” he said.

“We’ve seen a couple of people who aren’t regular food bank clients but who have said we are in need,” Marshall added. “Realistically we live in a society that lives paycheque to paycheque. It isn’t easy to sit down and stock up on things for just-in-case opportunities. We want to help outweigh that and supply what we can. And what we can right now is help with food because we have the resources and training and means to do it.”

Marshall added anyone who is in need of a food hamper can contact him directly at 250-847-1059 or Kelly at 250-643-4688.

The number for the Smithers location is 250-847-1501 and Houston is 250-845-3494.

Hampers will be delivered.

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