Food bank shelves going bare at women’s centre

Phallon Stoutenburg, outreach and housing coordinator with the Fort St. John Women's Resource Society.

The Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society is looking for donations to keep the shelves of its food bank from going bare.

We’re encouraging food donations all the time, but we receive mostly clothing and household items,” said Phallon Stoutenburg, the society’s outreach coordinator.

For now, we’re really low on food.”

The society, located on 100 Avenue, runs an outreach store for its clients and the community five days a week, where people can come in for any items they may need, including baby food.

Most clients are low income or living on the streets, Stoutenburg said. Many use the outreach store to supplement what they already receive from other charitable sources in the community, such as the Salvation Army, she said.

About 250 people relied on and used the outreach store and its food bank in May. The store had its busiest month of the year so far in March, when 335 people relied on its services to make ends meet.

Like many charities, donations peak around the Christmas holidays, but dwindle in the new year and as warmer weather approaches.

We find it gets busy when there’s no school, or there’s extreme weather, whether it’s cold, raining, or really hot,” Stoutenburg said.

People come in and they tend to gravitate to the back (where the store is located).”

The society has a small budget to purchase food, but still relies predominantly on donations, Stoutenburg said.

The society is accepting donations of non-perishable food items.

Donations can be made at the society, located at 10051 100th Avenue. Call 250-787-1121 or email outreach@fsjwrs.ca for more information.

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