President's Message

Lisa Lake

When I wrote my message for the 2020 AGM, it was with hope that 2021 would be a year where we returned to “normal”. As we have all discovered, in many ways 2021 was an even more complicated and complex year for the clients at the Food Bank. Not only were many still facing possible health challenges due to the virus and termination of government financial supports, summer 2021 brought wild fires to the area which resulted in evacuation to Kamloops of a number of vulnerable people. Some of the evacuees have since returned to their communities but others are still here while communities determine how to move forward.

The Food Bank staff and volunteers, led by an innovative Executive Director and management team, continued to provide services to clients five days/week and operate the award-winning Food Share program seven days/week. On top of this, the staff managed to move all the non - perishable food to off-site storage while preparing for the new warehouse currently under construction. As evacuees from fires came to Kamloops and surrounding communities, the Kamloops Food Bank were able to support the needs of individuals and communities as well. Clients would have no reason to even know that there were changes or challenges behind the scenes; service delivery was seamless.

The new process became routine until one of the largest wildfire seasons in BC history occurred. Kamloops was unable to act as an emergency relocation HUB as all our extra community space was taken up offering cooling centers during our first ever heat dome event. We were committed to distributing product to our smaller communities as many were forced to evacuate. Donations halted for a time during the initial lockdown – but arrived in large quantities ever since. We had record breaking Rotary food drives and national donations. Our temporary storage solution literally burst at the seams and the addition of new warehouse space became a necessity. We are excited to expand the refrigerated and freezer space in our current building which ensures we can keep up with the growth of our food recovery program – foodSHARE and to make the new building home to our non-perishable operation. The commitment and dedication of our Board, staff and volunteers was abundantly clear during this uncertain year and it has been an honor to stand beside them to do what we can to ensure everyone in our community has access to the basic need of food.

We shifted safety protocol as new information came to light and we opened our doors to new clientsmany of whom were first time users of our service. As the distribution HUB for our region we accepted a record-breaking amount of fresh, healthy product as Food Banks became the only outlet for Provincial egg, dairy and chicken producers as their regular distribution to restaurants was not available. Donors continued to step up and provide support as we looked for sources of funding for programs and the new warehouse. Our Christmas mail campaign and “Mother of All Raffles” were both very successful and a credit to the creative thinking of the management team as they looked for new ideas for fundraising.

Return to Annual Report 2021

It is with respect and gratitude that the Kamloops Food Bank acknowledges our presence on Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc territory situated within the unceded ancestral lands of the Secwépemc Nation. We are committed to learning and working towards reconciliation along with fostering a culture of respect and equality for all.

We are closed Today - Nov 7 due to treacherous road conditions.