The local food bank will move from its current Nesters Road location to the Whistler Conference Centre, beginning next week, in order to support those experiencing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS), which operates the food bank, is working with other resort partners to manage the uptick in demand.
“Since we started preparing to serve clients experiencing food insecurity due to COVID-19, we have seen about a three-fold increase in demand at the Food Bank compared to the same time last year,” noted Lori Pyne, acting executive director of WCSS, in a release. “This temporary move to The Whistler Conference Centre and the additional help from resort partners will ensure we can continue to operate safely and efficiently to help those who need it most with emergency food.”
The conference centre, owned by the Resort Municipality of Whistler and operated by Tourism Whistler, will be offered at no cost. The RMOW has also committed to providing additional frontline staff at the new location.
“The Resort Municipality of Whistler is extraordinarily grateful for the significant work the Whistler Community Services Society is providing through the Whistler Food Bank to support residents who are now in need of emergency food,” said Whistler Mayor Jack Crompton in the release. “By bringing the food bank to a larger space, we can help ensure that everyone who needs food in our community is able to get food and no one goes hungry during this challenging time.”
In the release, WCSS extended thanks to the RMOW and Tourism Whistler, as well as the community for “the outpouring of food, financial and in-kind donations over the last few weeks so that it can continue to provide these critical services while the Re-Use-It and Re-Build-It Centres remain closed.”
Prepared emergency food bags will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday at the conference centre. The food bank can be reached at 604-902-4800.
WCSS Outreach Services are operating from Monday to Saturday and can be accessed remotely at 604-932-0113 or online at mywcss.org.
“WCSS has trained its outreach workers and frontline staff to advocate for the community’s wellness needs. They can provide emotional support, assist with filling out government forms, advise on counselling options, advocate for your rights, and help find food and shelter,” the release went on.