So far the Whistler Food Bank is experiencing an average level of demand for services this October, but Whistler Community Service Society is expecting things to get a lot busier soon.
"Our numbers today (Oct. 9) were about 28 adults and five children, so demands is still kind of low at the moment," said Talya Shore, food bank coordinator — adding that some food bank users may not have known that they were open on the Tuesday after a holiday Monday.
Most of this week's customers were struggling with a lack of hours at work. "Right now it seems a majority of the people are experiencing a reduction in their work hours — they have jobs, but aren't getting the hours at the moment," said Shore. "But as more people roll into town mid-October and November we expect to see an influx of new people that don't have jobs yet, or have jobs lined up for the winter but haven't started working."
After a few record-setting years following the 2008 recession, Shore said the food bank's supplies are currently in good shape, though they will rely on donations from the community as demand increases over the next few weeks.
One example of community members stepping up was the annual Free Golf Day held in support of the food bank. The Westin Resort and Spa bought out the Whistler Golf Club for the day on Oct. 4, asking for donations of food and cash from players. The turnout was the biggest yet with 144 teeing off, donating 840 pounds of food and $1,900 in cash to the food bank.
As well, the food bank will get the proceeds from 100 frozen turkeys sold by Whistler Blackcomb at the annual Turkey Sale, as well as donations from the Whistler Rotary Club, food drives and the donation bins at local grocery stores. Major sponsors include the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation ($10,000 gold sponsor), the American Friends of Whistler and Couloir Project Management ($5,000 sponsors).
If your organization wants to host an event, details are online at www.mywcss.org/pages/food-bank.
The food bank is open every Monday at the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation Social Services Centre at 1519 Spring Creek Drive, from 10 a.m. to noon. When there's a stat holiday, the food bank day moves to Tuesday.