TRURO – Despite decreased donations before Christmas, the shelves at the Colchester Food Bank remain mostly full this week.
Mary DeAdder, co-ordinator of the Colchester Food Bank, says the facility is in good shape for the next few months thanks to pre-planning and immediate community assistance after the holidays. Monique Chiasson – Truro Daily News
Mary DeAdder, co-ordinator of the food bank, told the Truro Daily News on Tuesday that the shelves are about “60 to 70 per cent” stocked “which is better than last year at this time when they were less than 50 per cent full.”
DeAdder believes the shelter is in good shape going into the next few months because of a few reasons.
“We started (promoting) early holiday donations compared to last year because we were running more than 800 clients prior to Christmas,” said DeAdder, adding the number of food boxes given out last month were 1,050 compared to 1,421 in December 2012.
“A lot of families helped their family members this year so that made a difference too and people only took what they needed.”
In addition, the food bank networked with the Christmas Index Program.
“We weren’t cleaned out going into January. People weren’t panicking.”
That was a blessing, said DeAdder, because donations leading up to Christmas were down by an estimated 30,000 lbs. compared to the previous year.
One thing that didn’t change, however, was the appreciation clients had when given a blanket as part of their package. The blankets were donated by a local resident and it’s estimated more than 50 of them were given. They will continue to be part of food boxes throughout the winter, when they are available, said DeAdder. The co-ordinator said the presentation of blankets, known as the Spread the Warmth program, has taken place during the Christmas holidays at the shelter for about 17 years.
Since re-opening on Monday after being closed during the holidays, donations began pouring in from the community immediately. Items still needed include milk, juice, soups, cereal, sugar and vegetables.