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Local food bank taking cash-only donations during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted on April 21, 2020 by 40 Mile Commentator
County of Forty Mile Food Bank Facebook photo The County of Forty Mile Food Bank is accepting cash or cheque donation to buy food as a precautionary measure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Justin Seward

Commentator/Courier

The County of Forty Mile Food Bank has seen a steady stream of business in the last month.

“One measure we use to assess the need in the community is when we receive new clients. We’ve had a number of those in the last month,” said Rob Van Roessel, president of the food bank.

Van Roessel says the food bank is trying to reduce the spread of the virus by decreasing their volunteer crew who assemble the hampers while reducing the health risk in the volunteer pool.

“We have always had a hand washing and sanitizing protocol for our volunteers, so we have just been re-emphasizing that protocol since COVID-19 started,” he said.

The food bank at this time will only be accepting e -transfer or cheque donations instead of food.

Online banking for the food bank has been set up through ATB and an e-transfer can be sent to 40milefoodbank@gmail.com.

Money can be converted to necessary hamper dry goods more efficiently than a food drive (and) since we can keep the proper mix of food on hand instead of having excess pasta and not enough soup,” he said. “Any monetary donations also take up less volunteer time and minimize the amount of people handling the same food product.”

He said the food bank has run at an operational deficit for the last two years and have spent more on hampers than what has been received in donations.

“We have a small cash reserve which has helped us through the last two years, but we need to get our donations up to match our spending on hamper supplies,” he said.

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