It’s a tough time for many residents of Golden due to the outbreak of COVID-19.
Employment has been affected and the town’s grocery stores are seeing food shortages, which has led to a spike in activity at the Golden Food Bank.
“We are pretty busy at the moment, but we’ve changed some protocols to remain open,” said Judith Fernandez, the manager of the food bank.
“With so many people losing their jobs in town we’re busier than ever, but we’re here and doing business like normal.”
However, despite the increase in demand at the food bank the community is still coming together to supports its most vulnerable residents at this time.
Fernandez said she’s been impressed with how Golden has risen to the challenge.
“We wouldn’t be able to keep our doors open if not for the support of the community, from individual people to small businesses, everyone is reaching out right now and offering to help,” said Fernandez.
“People are being so generous, we’re receiving more donations through our website than usual which is really great to see. It’s helping us so much.”
To help curb the spread of any potential pathogen, the food bank has implemented a few new systems as well.
Patrons must queue up and maintain an appropriate social distance at the front of the food bank to gain entry, with a separate line out the back for those leaving the building. This is to ensure a smooth flow of operations
The food bank is continuing to operate under their regular hours while adding in new safety guidelines outlined by Food Banks Canada.
“We are pretty busy at the moment, but we’ve changed some protocols to remain open,” said Fernandez.
With the increase in demand, the food bank has gotten more creative to ensure their shelves are well stocked to serve clients.
Food recovery from IGA and Save-On-Foods has been lower than usual, as there is less product left over for donation.
However, with many local restaurants and cafes closed down, the food bank seen an increase donations of fresh produce to help keep their pantry stocked.
The food bank is still accepting private donations, but have closed the bin outside their building, one of the recommendations from Food Banks Canada.
“People can go and touch and sort through the bin, we don’t want it being open and causing more spread,” said Fernandez.
“We do still accept donations, though. People have to call us so have the chance to clean everything.”
One of the best ways to support the food bank, according to Fernandez, is through cash donations. This allows the food bank to purchase things that it doesn’t normally receive through food recovery programs, such as meat and dairy, the kind of items often in high demand but can be the hardest to source.
Protocols around the hamper program have also changed from pick-up only to delivery, with volunteers delivering packages of necessities to those who are in isolation or don’t feel safe leaving their homes. To organize a hamper delivery, call the food bank at 250-344-2113.