A food bank in Williams Lake serving homeless youth is in need of donations.
BGC Williams Lake Club at 17 Fourth Ave. South is open 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and club manager Krista Harvey said there is a high population of youth considered homeless because they are couch surfing. Presently she also knows of three youth under the age of 19 living on the streets in town.
“Youth does go up to the age of 24, so that number could be higher, than we are seeing, ” she said of the fact the BGC serves youth up to age 19.
Popular food bank items are snacks, easy-open canned meals, noodle cups, even macaroni and cheese which can be cooked at the club and taken out in a container.
There are also some teen parents coming to the food bank, Harvey said.
“We received a big beef donation from 4-H and make meals here every night and freeze portions as well.”
Interior Properties is located next door and recently donated $710 which the club used to prepare Thanksgiving hampers with all the fixings for a turkey dinner and gave them out to five youth.
Harvey said Interior Properties has also started collecting hygiene products to donate to the food bank as there is always a need for as soap, body wash, shampoo, deodorant and feminine hygiene products.
Madison Batty, youth program leader and outreach worker, coordinates the BGC backpack program for secondary school teens. In June she was preparing 40 packs but currently is doing about 10.
Batty fills the packs with snacks, dinner, lunch and breakfast items for the weekend when the BGC is not open.
“We completely rely on donations for the backpack program,” Harvey said. “We don’t have any funding for it anymore due to a program change.”
Anyone wanting to donate to the backpack program directly is asked to email email@example.com.
Derek Godin, the independent living youth worker, is organizing the Halloween Haunted House, a popular event at BGC. He is still looking for volunteers.
The Haunted House will be open on Friday, Oct. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. with a more family-friendly atmosphere while the Saturday, Oct. 29 event will be full-scale scary.
Entry to the Haunted House is with donations for the food bank.
With Christmas only a few months away, the BGC is also gearing up for its annual stocking drive, hoping to fill 40.
Aside from regular items such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, Harvey said small games, movie passes, rec centre passes, headphones or gift cards are ideal.
“Even the things we all might take for granted are appreciated, by the youth,” she added.