Tom McMath is a volunteer who helps sort donations at the Sources Langley Food Bank. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)

Sources Food Bank gets ready for festive season

The holidays are busy for local food banks

For the first several years of its life in Langley, the Sources Food Bank occupied a space that was a little bit less than ideal – a church basement on 200th Street.

The small space didn’t allow a lot of storage, and it didn’t have a permanent space for a distribution area.

“We had to put everything up, and at the end of the day take it all down,” said Sources Food Bank program manager Jaye Murray.

It also had stairs, an issue for clients with mobility issues.

Then this spring, a new location was found, in an industrial area near , and it solved a lot of the issues of the old space – bigger, ground level, and with enough space for a permanent distribution area.

On the downside, the rent is costlier, which means more work for the organization.

But it didn’t take long to use up the space needed to feed the almost 1,500 registered clients of Sources.

“We’re filling it,” confirmed Murray.

The Sources Food Bank is open two days a week for pickup by clients, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays.

On other days, volunteers can be found there sorting through food donations and getting everything ready for the arrival of the clients.

Although there are almost 1,500 people registered, about 600 come per week.

Murray expects that to increase, particularly close to the holidays.

“They have extra expenses, and food’s kind of the last thing,” she said.

In addition, people are looking for something special this time of year. Even on a budget and relying on the food bank, they want to have a festive meal during the holidays.

“We do the best we can,” said Murray, but a lot of it depends on donations and what comes in the door.

Most of the protein they can give people is frozen or canned, not fresh, which impacts the kind of meat-based meals people can prepare.

Despite the new location being a big improvement, Sources is not finished when it comes to upgrades they would like to see.

“I’m working on getting a walk-in cooler,” said Murray.

That would be a big change for the type of donations the centre could accept and distribute to its clients.

The team at Sources is getting to be sizable, with 45 volunteers and two part-time staff at the centre currently. Murray jointly manages both the Langley and the White Rock Sources Food banks.

After almost five years in the community, Murray said they have become a part of the fabric of Langley.

“We’ve worked hard, and I think we’ve made our presence known,” she said.

The Sources Food Bank is located at unit 208 20445 62nd Ave. Anyone interested in donating or volunteering can call the centre at 604-532-5290.

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