Weekend food hamper program expands in New West and Burnaby

Food programs launched as part of the community’s response to COVID-19 are ensuring that New West residents who are unable to access weekday food programs don’t go hungry.

St. Aidan’s Presbyterian Church launched the Don’t Go Hungry food support program at its West End church in May, soon followed by a second program at Knox Presbyterian Church in Sapperton and a third food at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Queensborough. 

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“We will start with 20 bags there,” said Rev. Laurie Deacon of St. Aidan’s in an email to the Record. “We are now preparing over 70 bags per week so that will take us to 90 bags of dry goods.”

A fourth program has also gotten underway at Gordon Presbyterian Church in the Edmonds neighbourhood in Burnaby.

While a variety of food programs exist for folks who are able to pick up hampers on weekdays, Don’t Go Hungry provides food on weekends, helping people who may work during the week and can’t access emergency food supports.

Free food hampers, including dry goods, meat, dairy, bread and produce, for anyone in need are available for curbside pickup (complete with physical distancing, gloves and masks) on Saturdays:

* St. Aidan’s Presbyterian Church, 1320 Seventh Ave., serves the west side of the city from 12:30 to 1 p.m.

* Knox Presbyterian Church, 403 East Columbia St., serves the east side of the city from 1:30 to 2 p.m.

* Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church, 244 Lawrence St., serves the Queensborough community from 1:30 to 2 p.m.

* Gordon Presbyterian Church,7457 Edmonds St., serves the south end of Burnaby from 1:30 to 2 p.m.

For more information on the program, go to www.dontgohungry.ca, or the Don’t Go Hungry page on Facebook and Instagram.

Deacon said the church is grateful to the many groups and individuals, including more than 50 volunteers, who have supported the food program at the New West locations.

 “I feel at times I’m at the centre watching amazing volunteers magnify what a caring community looks like, she said in an email to the Record. “It truly does take a village to create a whole society. And I’m glad to be a part of New Westminster!  People are generous and compassionate, especially in difficult times.”

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