New year, same mission: 2022 to bring changes to Burnaby’s Food Hub
Feeding with purpose ❤️
The Burnaby Food Hub has announced a change to its programming in the new year.
Beginning Jan 4, 2022, the Food Hub will be taking place once a week, on Tuesdays from 3 to 5 pm at Southside Community Church (7135 Walker Ave) in Edmonds. The Food Hub on Mondays and Thursdays will be discontinued.
The community program provides residents with access to food items in a safe and welcoming environment. There are several food hubs across the Lower Mainland that support their own specific neighbourhoods.
Carol-Ann Flanagan, with the Burnaby Society to End Homelessness, told the Beacon that there were “several factors” behind the decision to change the Food Hub schedule in Burnaby.
“[There’s] a little bit of volunteer fatigue,” she said, adding that currently, her volunteers have been working since the beginning of the pandemic to keep the hub running. Prior to the pandemic, the Greater Vancouver Food Bank ran the hub, but they have since changed their policies, meaning community partners like Flanagan are stepping in.
She also added that although folks were visiting the Hub twice a week, they weren’t getting large quantities of food in each visit.
“It was a single person getting a can of sauce, one thing of pasta, and maybe a small can of chicken.” Due to the pandemic, folks would receive their food items in pre-packaged bags.
Flanagan says the plan is to now set up the hub as a “pantry” where folks can simply come in to access what they need, depending on how many people are in their household.
The hope, said Flanagan, is to also make the hub more culturally accessible to reflect the cultural diversity of the neighbourhood.
“Especially in the Edmonds area, there are a lot of different cultures. And so the type of rice I would eat, that may not be the same type of rice that let’s say someone from the Middle East would eat. So we’d like to give people more dignity as they come through.”
Flanagan emphasized the importance of community support and donations to keep the hub up and running as it is a service that is in high demand.
“I had 207 [visitors] last week and I had 195 the weekend before,” she said.
Folks can help support the hub by donating dry goods, peanut butter (which she said is a highly requested item), cans of salmon, and other high-protein foods. Canned soup is “always good,” but she specified cans should have an easy-open top that does not require a can-opener. Monetary donations are also welcome and more information can be found here. For those interested in organizing a food drive within their communities they can send Flanagan an email to learn more.