A food drive is being organized in Williams Lake to help the Salvation Army food bank during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I find when things like the pandemic are happening and people are acting in fear and panic, I am the kind of person that wants to do the opposite,” said Hattie Deyo who is organizing the effort.
“I’d rather be a helper than be afraid.”
She has 12 volunteers who will drive around and pick up the donations, but they will not be working in a group and are setting it up as a no-contact drive with porch pick up, she said, noting volunteers will all be using gloves and masks.
Anyone willing to donate to the drive is asked to text her at 250-392-0660.
She’s even challenged the public just to donate one item if that is all they can afford.
“If a ton of people donate one thing it will all add up,” she added. “The volunteers I have said they’d be willing to drive around all day.”
The drive will take place on Saturday, March 21 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Earlier this week the Salvation Army alerted the public its shelves were ‘dangerously’ low, but Deyo said before that she was thinking about how the pandemic will impact people who rely on the food bank.
“I’m hoping we can help the people who are really suffering, those who cannot afford to stock up. They need our help,” she added. “Realistically speaking, with the way the economy is going, there are more of us who could potentially be using the food bank too.”
All donations must be non-perishable, Deyo confirmed.
On Friday morning the Tribune checked in with Tamara Robinson, Salvation Army director of family services and community outreach, to see how donations have been coming in for the food bank since she put out a plea early this week.
Robinson said donations have been trickling in, but they are still in need of most items, especially canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, soups, pasta and baby wipes.
Cash donations can also be given online at www.salvationarmy.ca/donations where there is an option to select to give to Williams Lake.
“There’s really high anxiety with folks concerned about having their basic needs met,” Robinson said. “I suspect we will have over 30 families come to the food bank today.”