Vahlleri Semeniuk, manager at Second Harvest food bank in Salmon Arm, stands next to a prepared bag of food ready to be picked up on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (Cameron Thomson - Salmon Arm Observer)

Shuswap food bank gets innovative for self quarantining residents

Second Harvest sets up system to keep people fed

For Shuswap residents unable to leave their homes out of fear of spreading or catching COVID-19, help is available.

The Second Harvest food bank in Salmon Arm is working to provide free food to those self quarantining in the wake of the pandemic. By creating prepared bags of food, the food bank hopes to substantially reduce the number of people entering the building while serving as many people as possible.

Read more: Large meat donation overwhelms Salmon Arm food bank staff

Read more: Wet weather diminishes donations for Salmon Arm food bank

“We’re doing our very best to try and accommodate,” said Vahlleri Semeniuk, manager at Second Harvest. “A standard bag which will pretty much give you the basics of what you need to put food on your table.”

The bags can contain a variety of items including milk, eggs, bread, sweets, potatoes, onions and other vegetables.

Semeniuk said she has received many calls from people asking if the food bank is still operating and what the hours are. One such caller was from the North Okanagan-Shuswap Brain Injury Society, asking if the prepared bags could be delivered to the homes of some of its members.

Read more: The spread of COVID-19 virus making its mark in Salmon Arm

Read more: First COVID-19 case confirmed in Revelstoke

An arrangement was made where organization volunteers can come by Second Harvest and pick up bags for the people in need of them. A similar arrangement is also in the works for providing food bags to elders of the Secwepemc First Nations.

The food bank, which operates on Wednesdays between 4:30 and 6 p.m. and Fridays between 1:30 and 3 p.m., serves approximately 200 people each week. Previously five or more people at a time would be allowed in to select their food but in an effort to reduce exposure, the food bank is setting a limit of three people at a time.

“We’re hoping that will do two things: allow people to feel more comfortable about coming and not getting into a smaller space and also it will help us mitigate all the people trying to get through the doors in an hour and a half,” Semeniuk said.

Read more: Only one case of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

Read more: Second presumptive case of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Semeniuk went on to say she doesn’t know how many people will be able to get through in the hour and a half window using the new model.

Lieutenant Joel Torrens with the Salvation Army said due to the pandemic the organization is trying to practice social distancing and is limiting access to the food bank building.

Rather than drop in, people are encouraged to call and set up an appointment to come and pick up a hamper. The Salvation Army can be reached at 250-832-9194.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

#Salmon ArmCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Would-be visitors to Shuswap over the long weekend asked to stay home

Regional district follows provincial health officer’s lead in telling citizens to stay put this Easter

Provincial COVID-19 rules lead to closure of two Columbia Shuswap Regional District rec sites

CSRD parks not managed with Rec Sites and Trails BC remain open

Warm temperatures bring welcome news for Salmon Arm residents who use public washrooms

City plans to open remaining washrooms, playgrounds to remain closed

Cougar caught on camera in Lake Country

A Lake Country resident caught a cougar prowling near their home

Too late for property tax adjustment from Columbia Shuswap Regional District

Timing of provincial deadlines eliminate option for tax relief in response to COVID-19

WATCH: Okanagan choir members sing together virtually

UpStage Kelowna Show Choir wanted to sing together, even if it’s in video form

Controls can keep Canadian COVID-19 deaths under 22,000, health agency says

With poor containment measures, the death toll could be much, much higher, the agency says

People needing addictions services feel ‘abandoned’ during pandemic, B.C.’s ex-top doctor says

Widespread job losses and more homelessness due to physical distancing at shelters have added hurdles

Canada lost 1,011,000 jobs in March, unemployment rate up to 7.8%: StatCan

Unemployment rate hits levels not seen since 2010

COVID-19 world update: 6.6 million U.S. jobless claims; alcohol sales banned in Bangkok

Comprehensive digest of coronavirus news items from around the world

LEGO – it’s not just for children anymore

All in all it’s just another brick in the wall

Smiles, honks and waves as teachers stage parade for their students

Classrooms are closed, but kids and teachers manage to connect

B.C. sorting medical equipment sales, donation offers for COVID-19

Supply hub has call out for masks, gowns, coronavirus swabs

Summerland winery sold for $5.2 million

Property overlooking Okanagan Lake was on the market 160 days

Most Read