The Salvation Army Food Bank in Penticton has seen an increase in demand for food during the COVID-19 pandemic while also receiving less donations that usual. They plan on continuing to support the community through the entirety of these trying times. (Salvation Army photo)

COVID-19: Penticton food bank sees ‘substantial’ rise in demand

Demand for food is up while donations are down at the Salvation Army Food Bank amid COVID-19

Penticton’s Salvation Army Food Bank has seen a significant increase in demand due to COVID-19, a pandemic which has resulted in lay-offs and cut hours at other businesses across the City.

Organizers say the Food Bank has been able to provide stability in a time when many people are “extremely worried” about their finances among other things.

READ MORE: Penticton’s Soupateria re-opens soon after closing due to COVID-19

“We’re making sure that every person who comes to the door is fed,” said Major Paul Trickett, commanding officer of the Salvation Army South Okanagan.

”We’re already seeing people that have been laid off coming to the door. Our numbers are definitely going up. If we were to be closed, I really don’t know where people would be getting their food from.”

Trickett estimates that in recent weeks the Food Bank has seen an increase in demand of approximately 20 per cent.

Also, food donations are coming in at a “dramatically” lower rate than average. Organizers attributed this in part to the cancellation of Salvation Army food drives, due to COVID-19 concerns. Trickett says this has caused them to lose “thousands of pounds” of food.

However, the Food Bank has reportedly received a handful of generous monetary donations that have enabled them to stay afloat.

“This morning (April 6) there were people lined up out the door. These are people that just need food to get through the day,” said Alan Absen, Salvation Army South Okanagan business manager. “We will not turn any of those people away.”

The Salvation Army Penticton Food Bank is open from Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (closed from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.)

For continued updates visit their website at

READ MORE: COVID-19: Diabetes Canada donation bins becoming garbage dumps amid pandemic


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