Yes, the Emergency Needs Food Cubby at Beaver Valley Outreach (BVO) has lots of beans – and pasta, coffee and tea. Ours is a very generous community – thank you!
BVO doesn’t have a traditional food bank because we really don’t believe that is the best way to help people with the issue of food insecurity, but the Cubby fills the gap until we have other options. BVO strives to be a part of the solution and works hard to find the right balance. Having said that, there is a demand for emergency food in our community, where approximately 25-35 households benefit each month from the service.
BVO’s Food Cubby exists to help meet the emergency food needs of families, individuals and couples. Our current reality is that the Cubby is full to overflowing thanks to many of you. Throughout 2020, we had amazing partnerships and support from Foodland Thornbury, United Way Grey Bruce, Bruce Power, Salvation Army, Cobbs Bread and more. But due to capacity and space issues, we cannot handle any more food donations at this time. Here are some reasons why.
Our volunteers have a lot of handling to do when there is a huge influx of food. During the pandemic, this presents new challenges. When items come in, we let the donations sit for 72 hours “in quarantine” just to be on the safe side. Then we check the Best Before dates and sort items accordingly. It helps to store similar items together, and it is also helpful if what gets donated is what we are short of in our Cubby. To remedy this, we consult with Foodland Thornbury, and we are working towards a system where we can do a “shout out” when we are short on something specific like pasta sauce, peanut butter, tuna and salmon.
What we have found to be the best way to support folks who are needing food and personal care items is to provide the household with the staples we have on hand, then augment that with a Foodland Gift Card that they can use towards produce and non-taxable goods. At this time, we are not inviting people into our office, so we ask people to make an appointment, let us know what they need, then come to pick up a gift card along with food that has been packed for them.
We believe that a grocery gift card provides the best solution for those in need, offering dignity and flexibility. It is simple to administer, and allows people to get what they really need, empowering them to make their own choices based on their specific diets, the make-up of their household and the fresh fruits, veggies, meats and cheeses that they like. Gift cards don’t go out of date and they take up very little room! Anyone can give a monetary donation and direct it to one of BVO’s food security/emergency needs initiatives such as our monthly Fresh Food Basket, Thornbury Community Garden or our Food Cubby. Tax receipts are available for donations of $20 or more.
BVO thanks the community for contributions that enable us to continue “making good things happen in our community”!
Please visit our website www.bvo.ca or call our office @ 519-599-2577 for more information.