Interior Savings Insurance in Barriere annually collects dry goods and Christmas gifts under the Nikki’s Red Wagon banner for the Barriere Food Bank Society. Pictured is Food Bank acting warehouse manager Antoon Houben collecting some of the items to add to the annual Christmas hampers. (File photo)

Barriere Food Bank servicing up to 100 households per month

“Currently facing a severe shortage of bread,” says warehouse manager

By Margaret Houben

The Barriere and District Food Bank Society is located at 4748 Gilbert Drive, in the Barriere Industrial Park at the north end of town. Barriere resident Antoon Houben is currently the acting warehouse manager and community relations officer for the Food Bank.

In a recent interview with Houben he noted that the Food Bank serves their clients on Wednesday mornings, from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“Each client is entitled to one hamper per month, and in emergencies an extra hamper can be made available,” said Houben, “We service between 80 and 100 households per month in an area that stretches from McLure to Little Fort to Agate Bay, the Barriere Lakes, and Chu Chua. About 20 per cent of our clients get their hampers delivered because they are unable to pick them up.”

He tells that the local Food Bank is entirely volunteer based, and notes, “The last 18 months have been difficult, as we have lost a number of long time volunteers and their experience. In the course of a year, we have about 20 volunteers at different times. In order to operate, we need six to eight volunteers on our Wednesday sessions. At our upcoming annual general meeting in April, we will be looking for several new officers and directors. We are looking to separate the roll of board member from the roll of active volunteer, but expect that this will take a few years to achieve.”

Houben tells that over the last year, with the help of Food Banks B.C., Barriere’s Food Bank has upgraded their cold storage with two upright freezers and two upright coolers.

“This has allowed us to offer liquid milk, more eggs, and fresh produce,” said Houben, “We hope to expand the produce offerings over the next several years. In the summertime, community gardeners have been very generous in their donations of fresh garden produce that helps us to improve the quality of our hampers. This cold storage improves our ability to handle this produce safely and effectively.”

The local Food Banl gets their supplies from several sources. These include private donations (find the Barriere Food Bank box under the baked goods table at AG Foods), bulk purchases using donated funds, the National Food Share Service, and assistance from the Kamloops Food Bank.

“The Kamloops Food Bank receives donations from the many stores in the Kamloops area (especially day old bread and near end of stale date meats which they freeze, and then make available to smaller food banks such as ours,” said Houben, “This supply can vary, and currently we are facing a severe shortage of bread. By the end of January, our hampers may have no bread at all based on current supply.

“The National Food Share Service happens four to eight times a year and the products provided are totally unpredictable. For instance, we started this January with a large pallet load that included: four cases of cereal; 24 cases of granola bars; 20 cases of chocolates; three cases of cheese whiz; 45 large cans of coffee; one case of mayo; and 15 cases of poppy seed salad dressing. While these products are really welcome, shipments from the National Food Share Service seldom address our core needs.”

Houben conclude by saying, “The bulk of our supplies are purchased, usually during AG Foods’ periodic case lot sales where we will spend two to three thousand dollars per sale. This is where the funds that we raise and the donations we accept are spent.”

For more information about donating to, or volunteering with the Barriere and District Food Bank Society, please contact Antoon Houben at 250-852-8123.

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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Interior Health will not expand Police and Crisis Team

Southeast Division Chief Superintendent Brad Haugli asked IH to expand the program

High water and flooding hits Clearwater

Potential for roadblock on Clearwater Valley Road due to potential washouts

Tk’emlups, Simpcw First Nations chiefs call on Tiny House Warriors to leave Blue River protest camp

“The Tiny House Warriors are not from Simpcw, nor are they our guests in our territory.”

District of Barriere Utilities Manager reports to council on Barriere wells

District of Barriere Utilities Manager Ian Crosson presented a verbal report during… Continue reading

Thunder rolls and the North Thompson River is still rising

With a wet start to summer in the North Thompson area, Environment… Continue reading

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Most Read