With the season of giving upon us, it is a crucial time for Sources Langley Food Bank.
The food bank located in the basement of the United Churches of Langley building at 5673 200 St., is in dire need of high-protein items such as tuna, chili, canned chicken, and chickpeas, says manager Jaye Murray.
But the need at Sources has a far greater reach than that. Supplies are so low, in fact, it is looking as though Sources will not be able to do a special distribution of holiday items from its food bank in Langley.
“We’re very low — extremely low,” Murray said. “We only have enough protein for two weeks, so you can’t make a complete meal for a person if you don’t have protein, because you should be covering the food groups.”
Sources notes that people living on a low income do not have access to enough nutritious food to meet their health needs. The organization’s mandate is to provide recipients with enough fresh and nutritious food for two days per week; and at Christmastime, the goal is “to do a little bit more.”
Chickpeas are high in protein and are a staple in the diet of many of the Syrian families that have settled in Langley and are being helped by Sources.
“Easily 15,” Murray said, when asked how many Syrian families use Sources in Langley. “And they are large families.”
Sources serves 560 to 600 people every week at its Langley food bank and another 650 more at its White Rock/South Surrey food bank.
There are about 1,300 people registered with Sources Langley Food Bank “but not everybody comes every week,” Murray said.
Sources Langley, which has existed since 2014 and runs with only one paid staff member (Murray) and as many as 45 volunteers, relies 100 per cent on donations to serve its clients.
“Fortunately, we’re the recognized member for Food Banks Canada (as well as Food Banks BC), so we have the partnerships with the grocery stores (including Save-on-Foods, Safeway, and Loblaws),” Murray said.
To anyone thinking about donating, Murray says this: “We have families coming here and they need our help. Our stocks are so low, that I’m just not sure that we can provide everything that they should be receiving.”
This predicament greatly concerns Murray, who says there is a “huge” discrepancy in the amount of donations received in Langley, compared to White Rock/South Surrey.
“You feel guilty,” she admitted. “Especially being the manager of White Rock as well. I can see what comes in, and what the clients in White Rock are receiving, compared to here.”
People can donate food items on site at Sources Langley on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monetary donations are accepted at Sources Langley on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Donations can also be put into bins set up at grocery stores across the Langleys.
Sources accepts non-perishable food items as well as fresh fruits and vegetables, which are stored in a cold room before being distributed to clients. Murray said fruits and vegetables such as apples and potatoes are ideal to donate.