Whistler Community Services and the Whistler Food Bank are gearing up for another busy fall as hundreds of employees start to arrive in town in anticipation of the winter season.
With almost two months to go until the start of the ski season, immediate jobs can be hard to come by for new arrivals. As a result, many have no choice but to turn to the food bank for assistance.
Last season was one of the busiest ever for the food bank, with a mild fall and a late start to the season keeping unemployment high and work hours low for resort staff. On one day the food bank processed a record of more than 160 individuals.
According to Sandra McCarthy, co-ordinator of the Whistler Food Bank, they are expecting the seasonal crush to start as early as this Monday.
"Weve tried to stock up the basement of the church, but that will go quickly," she said. "We had more tan 160 people on one day last year, and those are the kinds of numbers we have to anticipate for this year."
The food bank is funded by the Re-Use-It Centre in Function Junction, and bolstered by food drop boxes at The Grocery Story in the village, Nesters Market and Marketplace IGA. Food drives are planned for November, when volume is at its highest, and again for Christmas.
"These are really important drives for us," said McCarthy. "The demand is just so high at that time of year, and we need all the help we can get."
Individuals and groups also donate to the food bank, either through food drives or by rounding up donations.
Food bank clients receive bags of groceries that include non-perishable staples like peanut butter and pasta, as well as things like fresh produce.
The bank distributes the first and third Monday of every month from a trailer behind Our Lady of the Mountains Catholic Church on Lorimer Road, between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. In December, the food bank is open every Monday.
People with urgent requirements can call the food bank at 604-905-8023 to make special arrangements.