A donation jar for the Cortes Island Food Bank sits on a counter at a local store. Photo by Greg Osoba.

The Cortes Island Food Bank joined Food Banks BC on Oct. 7 and has just launched its own website.

Coordinator Filipe Figueira says joining the bigger provincial network provides more resources and funding possibilities.

Established 20 years ago, the Cortes Food Bank was run solely by Samantha Statton, who volunteered her time. Figueira says they can now apply to Food Banks BC for grants to help compensate Statton for her service.

He also says the new local website creates another way for people to make donations, as well as for people needing help to access resources. Figueira expects demand to increase now that some COVID-19 aid is no longer available to individuals and due to pressures from the rising cost of food due to inflation.

Food Banks BC also provides help with local data collection, which is useful for assessing client needs, he adds.

Figueira is pleased that the Cortes Island Food Bank will be included in the annual Food Bank Day, coordinated by CBC Radio British Columbia on Dec. 2, where donors can earmark their donations to individual food banks, or Food Banks BC as a whole. Last year, nearly $3 million was donated and distributed to food banks across the province.

Statton and Figueira talk about the latest developments at the Cortes Food Bank in the interview with CKTZ News below:

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative.