Food banks call for donations as demand across surges across Capital Region

Volunteers are scrambling to fill the need at the Mustard Seed food bank, which serves about 10 per cent of the Victoria population, according to its executive director Stephen Bell.

Volunteers are scrambling to fill the need at the Mustard Seed food bank, which serves about 10 per cent of the Victoria population, according to its executive director Stephen Bell.

“We’re going out of our way to make sure the hampers aren’t smaller as of this time,” Bell said. “If anything, we really try to give as much as we possibly can. That being said, any donations that can be given at this time are sorely needed.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, foodbanks saw an inexplicable drop in demand.

“That was something that happened across the food bank community,” said Mustard Seed’s food security director Treska Watson.

“Weather that was CERB or many different reasons, we’re not sure why, but that has changed, and need is going up. We’re busier than ever and it’s just been continually growing.”

Both the Mustard Seed and Goldstream Food Bank in Langford are seeing a 10 per cent spike in monthly demand.

“I guess with school started up, it’s getting to be a little bit bigger than before,” said Goldstream Food Bank Secretary Sandy Prette.

While demand is up, donations are down, but the Goldstream Food Bank is hoping to stock its shelves with a little community support.

“There will be some food drives going on for us shortly,” said Prette. “There’ll be a Thanksgiving one and going into Christmas there will be a few going on at that time as well.”

The food banks say they are always in need of key staples like peanut butter, tuna, and personal hygiene products.

With the holidays approaching, Mustard Seed is also in need of volunteers.