Demand at Kelowna meals banks surges to highest-ever degree | Information
Supplies of baby formula currently aren’t under pressure at the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank despite higher-than-ever overall client numbers.
The food bank, with operations in both Kelowna and West Kelowna, has enough baby formula obtained directly from manufacturers and local stores to meet demand, director of development Trina Speiser says.
“We’re cautious, but we’re not in dire straits or anything like that. The baby formula shortage seems to be affecting the U.S. more directly,” Speiser said in an interview Thursday. “We’re okay with baby formula, but certainly we’d welcome donations of it.”
However, the food bank has seen its supplies of cereals diminish, she said. The food bank doesn’t typically buy cereal, using its cash resources on higher quality items, relying instead on donations.
“With the price of cereal going up in the stores, we have seen a reduction in the number of people donating it,” she said.
There’s also a current appeal for donations of Boost, the nutritional supplement, as well nutritional bars and canned fruit.
A combination of factors has led to an increase in demand at the two local food banks.
“There’s a confluence of the effects of the war in Ukraine, inflation, and gas prices that’s really having an impact on a lot of people’s finances,” Speiser said.
“Our visitations are higher now than they were at Christmas last year,” she said. “We’re well over 100 appointments a day. That’s up about 30% from April of last year, and it’s our highest visitation rate, ever.”
– To donate to the food bank, see cofoodbank.com