Hampers are ready at food bank
It will be business as usual — almost — as the Kamloops Food Bank prepares to hand out about 125 hampers to clients today (Aug. 7).
That fact, said executive director Bernadette Siracky, is a testament to the determination not only of her staff but of the community.
A fire at the Wilson Street agency on Thursday, Aug. 2, not only destroyed much of the food stored there but made the building itself off-limits to staff as police and other investigators continue looking into the suspected arson.
Siracky said about 1,400 pounds of food was collected on the weekend from donation boxes at local grocery stores.
Safeway donated another $2,500 worth of food.
Big Steel Box dropped off storage containers for the food bank to use for the month while cleanup continues in the building.
“Mike Miltimore [of Lee’s Music] even came down and gave us a cheque,” Siracky said.
Nine-year-old Christian Beatty organized his own food drive at the Juniper Market and Sahali Superstore.
“This community is just so
wonderful. It’s made this easier to deal with.”
Siracky and staff were in the parking lot next to the building on Monday, Aug. 6, putting together hampers to hand out today.
She said insurance will eventually cover the lost food, as well as damage to the building, but the insurer is also conducting its own investigation and an adjuster has yet to complete an assessment.
An estimated 60 to 80 boxes of food containing anywhere from 3,900 to 5,200 pounds of food was lost in the fire.
The destroyed food had been expected to last until the next major food drive in September.
A garage door that separated the storage area from the rest of the main building likely saved the structure from complete destruction, Siracky said.
However, extensive smoke damage has rendered hampers that had been completed and were inside the building unusable, as well.
“Most of it’s just done,” she said.
Siracky credited quick-thinking neighbours, who not only saw someone running from the building but noticed the fire that broke out at the same time.
“The firemen and the police were here so fast,” Siracky said.
“They saved the food bank.