Food bank usage about the same as last year in Prince Rupert

Since the end of 1910, when the first citadel was opened in Prince Rupert, the local Salvation Army church group has been dedicated to not only their beliefs, but also helping others who are in need.

Since the end of 1910, when the first citadel was opened in Prince Rupert, the local Salvation Army church group has been dedicated to not only their beliefs, but also helping others who are in need.

The church does this in a variety of ways, including their Food Bank and Soup Kitchen programs. Last week, Captain Gary Sheils from the local Corps sat down with the Prince Rupert Northern View to discuss how many people in the community have been making use of these food programs over the past year.

“Everything is fairly in line with last year,” commented Captain Sheils on the topic.

According to Captain Sheils, the Salvation Army’s Food Bank is averaging about 300 families a month, which he says is “not much higher” than last year.

“It’s not an alarming amount more, maybe 10 or 15 families a month, which isn’t a horrendous increase,” explained Sheils.

“There has been no real change for the need in this town. The situation is basically the same as it was a year ago.”

Last year the Salvation Army saw a noticeable increase in the amount of people using the Food Bank, which Captain Sheils said was partially caused the closure of Extra Foods. Prior to 2010, the number of families using the Food Bank was around 175.

As well, the Soup Kitchen did not see an increase from last year, with about 4,200 meals being given away each month, which is about the same as last year.

The Salvation Army buys the food that they provide to families in need through government funding, internal funding and donations.

People wishing to utilize the Food Bank can either call the Salvation Army at 250-624-6180, or make an appointment 250-624-6325.

Additionally, the Soup Kitchen starts off each weekday with free breakfast at 7:30 a.m., then serves lunch between 11 a.m. and one p.m. Additionally, on Saturday’s the Soup Kitchen holds a pancake breakfast from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Captain Sheils ensures all people whom are in need of a meal to show up and utilize the Soup Kitchen.

Anyone wishing to volunteer time to the Salvation Army can do so by simply making a visit to the Salvation Army located at 214 Fraser Street.