The CMS Food Bank in South Cowichan has had to close temporarily. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Valley food banks reopen on a limited basis

CMS handing out hampers, Basket Society doing hampers and sandwiches

After closing temporarily last week, two Cowichan Valley banks are reopening this week to hand out hampers.

The Cowichan Valley Basket Society in Duncan shut its doors last week due to a possible COVID-19 contamination, and the CMS Food Bank, which serves Cobble Hill, Mill Bay and Shawnigan Lake, also closed last week due to health concerns.

The CVBS reopened on Monday on a limited basis. It will hand out sandwiches between noon and 2 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, serving outside from the back loading deck. Hampers will be handed out between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Pick-up arrangements can be made at the food bank or by phone (250-746-1566) starting at 9 a.m. Phone calls are preferred.

The CMS Food Bank in South Cowichan announced on Monday that it will be giving out hampers in April, but only by appointment.

Clients will have to phone or email ahead of time to arrange pick-up of food hampers.

“We don’t want lineups here,” coordinator Traci Waite explained. “We want to avoid that.”

In addition, the food bank will not be accepting food donations at this time, although it will continue to accept cash donations on its website (cmsfoodbank.ca).

Food banks have to be ready for emergencies, but the COVID-19 pandemic was not something they saw coming.

“Talking to other food banks, no on was prepared for this,” Waite said. “We’re prepared for earthquakes, but not for this.”

One challenge they are trying to address is that many staples, like sugar, rice and oatmeal, are bought in bulk and portioned out by volunteers, but for health reasons, they can’t do that right now. CMS has also lost many volunteers, who have chosen to stay home. The average age of volunteers at the food bank, Waite estimated, is about 75.

Waite said she is “super happy” about the provincial government’s announcement on Monday of a $3-million emergency grant from the Community Gaming Grants program to Food Banks BC.

The situation may be changing daily right now, Waite said, but once the pandemic is over, CMS will resume normal activities.

“When we are back up and running and full steam ahead, we’ll be there for them,” she said.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Crofton

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Hot ticket: Tickets on sale tonight for drive-in theatre at Cowichan Exhibition

Fresh Air Cinema bringing Onward and The Lion King to the big screen at the Cowichan Exhibition

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Duncan school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Long-awaited opening for Chemainus Public Market

All components not up and running just yet, but will be soon

Duncan Christian grads get top college sports honours

Danielle Groenendijk and Adam Kapteyn were both honoured

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Trans Mountain starts B.C. leg of pipeline twinning project

Mostly finished in Alberta, Burnaby terminal expanding

NDP getting COVID-19 wage subsidy ‘indirectly,’ B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson says he’s heard no concerns from public

Most Read