Rising demand and costs leave food bank shelves bare in Fort St. John

Some of the items currently in need are non-perishable food, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, dish soap and laundry soap.
The Fort St. John Salvation Army. (file)

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The shelves at The Salvation Army’s food bank are dwindling due to an increase in clients and the cost of food. 

Executive director Jared Braun posted a video to social media on September 13th explaining the shortage and encouraging citizens to donate what they could. 

“A lot of our shelves are starting to get quite bare,” mentioned Braun in the video. “Contributing would make a huge difference as we continue to serve hundreds of people in Fort St. John.”

Some items currently in need are non-perishable food, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, dish soap and laundry soap.

Braun said the reason behind the shortage is due to the rising demand of applicants and the cost of food over the last two years. 

“The cost of food has continued to go up over the last two years. People that are on fixed income, whether it’s disability, pensions or limited employment, can find it challenging to fulfill their grocery needs,” said Braun. 

“Our demand has continued to go up month over month. People that are new to Canada, whether it’s students or refugees, like people from Ukraine fleeing war, are being welcomed into Canada, but reestablishing their lives depends on the food bank to get going.”

Braun mentioned that donations are at a peak from Christmas to spring, though numbers drop considerably in the summer and fall.

The increased demand and lack of donations put the organization under a lot of pressure, increasing their need to replenish.

“Even from January until, I think it was early summer, we have seen upwards of 200 new applicants to the food bank,” said Braun. 

Of these applicants and the many more throughout the summer, some of these have been for a one time carryover until their next paycheck. However, many were also completely reliant on the food bank to survive. 

In comparison to last summer, donation numbers have also dipped. 

“Last year, we did Christmas in July, a food drive initiative. We wanted to do that again this year. We made an attempt, but it was not very successful,” said Braun, “We had hoped it would be a midsummer boost for us, but it didn’t bring in as much as we’d expected.”

The Salvation Army has various ideas for future donation initiatives, but their efforts are currently focused on meeting demands in these difficult months.

For more information, visit the Salvation Army Fort St. John’s website.


Sign Up for Daily Text Messages

Energize your day with our daily text message about local news. Once a day, Monday to Friday, we will send out the top stories of the day. 

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top