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Residents of Langley housing complex step up to help Sources food bank

Monthly record set by Churchill Park in Walnut Grove
Bill Macrae loaded up a vehicle on Friday, May 28, 2021 with the latest monthly contributions to the Langley Sources Food Bank from residents of Churchill Park in Walnut Grove. (File photo/Carol Gilchrist, special to Langley Advance Times)

Residents of the Churchill Park housing complex in Langley’s Walnut Grove have responded to a call for help from Sources Langley Food Bank by setting a record for monthly contributions in December, of 311 items plus $280 in cash.

Churchill Park resident Don McLean said it was the most in a single month since the strata council at Churchill Park, located in the 9000 block of 208th street, approved placing a collection basket in the clubhouse in 2021 as part of a plan to encourage regular monthly donations.

“When you start a thing like this you never know if it will fade out,” McLean observed.

He was pleased to report the complex has maintained a consistent level of support for close to two years, with a surge in December in response to the news Sources was struggling to keep up with increased demand.

READ ALSO: Langley food banks struggle with increased demand

As he described it, it’s been a low-key initiative.

“It’s a pretty close-knit community,” McLean explained.

“We don’t push people, we just leave it up to them.”

Next February will mark two years of monthly deliveries from Churchill Park to Sources.

So far, the monthly food drive has collected 2,396 items.

McLean said the amount of cash donations has been rising, and while it is difficult to calculate the total because many residents simply donate directly, he estimates around $1,000 has been contributed, much of it in recent months.

“We are intending to continue the program into the new year and invite others to join us in this very worthy cause,” McLean told the Langley Advance Times.

READ ALSO: System of monthly donations to Sources Langley Food Bank set up in Walnut Grove

Sources, which is based in Langley Township, and opened an Aldergrove distribution depot in March, has reported a decline in contributions.

“Donations are really down,” by as much a third, estimated Sources program manager Jaye Murray.

Items needed include canned tuna, salmon, chicken, ham, chili, and stew, as well as rice, rolled oats, peanut butter, whole wheat pasta, fresh or canned fruit and vegetables, “100 per cent” fruit juice, chick peas and other assorted beans, tea, coffee, soups and canned tomatoes.

Jim Calamunce, executive director of the Langley Food Bank, which operates distribution centres in Langley City and Aldergrove, said client numbers are “really skyrocketing,” and while donors have been stepping up, “we just need a lot more of the basics” like soups, canned fruit, canned meat, canned fish, rice, pasta and baking supplies.

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Dan Ferguson has worked for a variety of print and broadcast outlets in Canada and the U.S.
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