Captain Deb VanderHeyden explains that there are actually two peak seasons for the food bank: the winter when heating bills go up, and the summer when children are out of school.
“Traditionally you do get a lot of food at Christmas time, and then in the summer time, when all of us are busy, we don’t always think about the food bank,” she argues. “There’s a greater need often; maybe grandparents have their grandchildren staying with them and things like that, so we do see the usage does go up.”
At this time of year the food bank is in greatest need for food and snacks for children, like canned milk, canned fruit and granola bars. VanderHeyden explains that with the young ones not in class, they’re eating at home more often.
“In the summertime when they’re not in school, they don’t get that breakfast program, so we do try and give more, and we do have more families with kids using the food bank in the summer.”
The Christmas in July food drive begins today at 4 p.m. at Safeway, and will run from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. People can donate by purchasing pre-packed bags, or picking up other items at the store.