The Salvation Army food bank warehouse hasn’t been this empty in a long time, according to Don Armstrong, food bank coordinator. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)

Situation critical now for Chilliwack Food Bank reserves

The Sally Ann food warehouse is nearly empty and in dire need of donations this summer

Supplies of canned food and other non-perishables are “very, very low” at the Salvation Army food bank warehouse in Chilliwack.

“It is lower than I have seen it in a long time,” said Don Armstrong, food bank coordinator at the Salvation Army Care and Share Centre.

Only a few days worth of tuna, salmon and other canned meats remain in the warehouse. There is no canned fruit or tinned lunches, and only one palette of breakfast cereal left.

“We’re low on just about everything,” said Armstrong.

Chunky soups with snap-open lids are especially in demand, because it’s easy for those living rough.

The shortage actually started last year in the wake of the Interior wildfires of 2017.

“Normally at this time we would see about three palettes for each type of food,” Armstrong said, showing the empty space inside the warehouse.

Salvation Army officials will graciously accept donations of cash and non-perishables right now, and even perishable food and produce if they can be dropped off at the Care and Share Centre on Yale Road.

Non-perishables can go into Food Bank bins at local grocery stores.

Perishables can be dropped off and stored at the centre in the brand-new walk-in cooler donated to Chilliwack Sally Ann’s Food Bank a few months ago by Food Banks BC.

READ MORE: Need was high in 2016 too

The inventory is down to this degree partly because Chilliwack jumped into action last summer to help wildfire victims by collecting semi trailers worth of food and supplies to be trucked up to the fire zones.

“But at the time we were feeding about 3,000 people who came here from the fires,” said Armstrong.

The Chilliwack Food Bank didn’t manage to recoup its losses in terms of stored food.

They serve about 75 people per day who are given about five days worth of groceries, on a monthly basis, not counting emergency hampers.

But there are other factors.

With school out, kids are missing out on the lunch programs they benefit from during the regular school year. So that is also creating more demand at the food bank where needy families come for groceries on an emergency basis, as well as increasing numbers of seniors.

“Summertime is when we’re hit the hardest,” Armstrong explained. He also said the last food drive did not yield what they needed in terms of donations.

READ MORE: Food drive struggles

He is not too worried that people will respond once they hear what is needed, however, given the community’s long-standing reputation for generosity.

“Chilliwack always comes through in the end. It’s been good that way,” he added.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Don Armstrong, food bank coordinator, shows the empty space where the chunky soups are normally stored.

Just Posted

Chilliwack school board to foot $30,000 to $35,000 bill for judicial recount

Recount of 24,700 ballots changed the seventh- and eight-place candidate differential by one vote

Safety fencing goes up in preparation for downtown Chilliwack redevelopment

There is a buzz in the air as the Algra development details are gradually coming into focus

Canadian Junior Football League names Husker’s Bob Reist Coach of the Year

Reist spearheaded a remarkable turnaround for Chilliwack’s junior football franchise.

Philomusica Chorus presents lively concert A Calypso Christmas

Caribbean-themed Christmas concert set for Dec. 2 in Chilliwack

Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival explodes in popularity, draws thousands to Mission, Harrison Mills

Weather, news, social media contribute to high turnout, says president

VIDEO: E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Feds give formal notice for law to end Canada Post strike

Trudeau government ready to legislate employees back to work after five weeks of rotating strikes

Lower Mainland suspect identified in fatal northern B.C. hit and run

Suspect and seven other individuals believed involved located on Haida Gwaii

‘Bait and switch’ warning ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Competition Bureau of Canada is warning shoppers of illegal sale tactics

Legal battle ahead for suspended B.C. legislature executives

Public removal ‘very unfair,’ says veteran clerk Craig James

B.C. sees biggest spike in homicides across Canada, at 34%

Much of the killing was attributed to gang violence, according to Statistics Canada

Sea lion tangled in rope on Vancouver Island

Marine debris is a ‘significant problem’ for marine wildlife

Postal strike affects charities at critical fundraising time

Canadian fundraising professionals and charities join call for fast resolution

$90,000 pen from space created by B.C man

The Space pen is made from a meteorite

Most Read