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

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

The Municipality of North Cowichan wants to replace the aging Crofton fire hall. (File photo)
New $3.8-million fire hall considered for Crofton

North Cowichan will have to seek electoral assent for project

Christmas lights are something that people can do to celebrate the season that are not impacted by COVID-19. (file photo)
Editorial: Holiday season will be different this year

We’ll have to adjust our Christmas plans this year.

Some parents are concerned with the plans of the Cowichan Valley school district to drop one of its distance-learning options. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley parents upset with loss of remote learning program

School district says program being redesigned

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Barrels pictured outside Oliver winery, Quinta Ferreira, in May. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
B.C. Master of Wine reflects on industry’s teetering economic state

Pandemic, for some wine makers, has been a blessing in disguise. For others, not so much.

Most Read