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Coronavirus: Salvation Army in Kelowna says food bank is almost bare

The Salvation Army branch in Kelowna says its food bank is desperately low when it comes to meat, bread and toilet paper. Salvation Army Kelowna

The Salvation Army in Kelowna says it’s in dire need of the community’s help because of the novel coronavirus.

The branch said its food bank is desperately low on meat, bread and toilet paper.

“We are seeing a significant increase in new families accessing our services,” Kelowna Salvation Army said in a social media post on Wednesday.

“Our freezer is typically full of meat and this is all the bread we have left. Can you help?”

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READ MORE: Edson man charged with massive meat theft at local food bank

Darryl Burry, the lead pastor and executive director, said the organization is being hit hard by panic buying and job layoffs.

“What we are recognizing and seeing is a significant increase in the numbers of new individuals and families who are now coming and accessing our services,” Burry told Global News on Thursday.

At the same time, he said, they’re also seeing a significant decrease in the number of donations.

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“Not only is the public not dropping off donations, but we have a huge partnership for food reclamation from some of the grocery stores,” he added.

“And because some of the product is being excessively purchased, things that we’ve been traditionally receiving through our food reclamation program have dramatically dropped off.”

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Essential items are either in shortly supply or unavailable entirely, he said.

“We usually have loaves and loaves of bread we’re able to give out to our community on a daily basis. We’re down to just a few bags remaining at this point.”

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If anyone feels they may have purchased a little more than they, Burry asks you to consider donating some of those items to a food bank.

Meanwhile, the Salvation Army is also closing its thrift stores at least two weeks. The donation receiving areas at both the Rutland and Westbank stores will remain open.

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Saskatoon food banks are in need of donations during Covid-19 pandemic

Burry also said his organization will start providing evening meals to those in need, as prepared by the Gospel Mission, and will do so until it’s no longer necessary.

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