Van donated to Central Okanagan Food Bank

New van for food bank

The Central Okanagan Food Bank will be riding the streets in style.

With the help of CSN Collision and a number of local businesses in Kelowna, the Central Okanagan Food Bank now has a new cargo van after a 2018 Dodge Pro Master was brought back to life and repaired.

The project was years in the making, but when CSN came across the perfect cargo van that needed fixing up, they just couldn't pass it up.

“There were many sponsors in having it come to completion, but the van itself was actually a vehicle that was restored from an accident,” said CSN Kelowna Manager Ryan Wuthe.

“There was some mechanical work that was needed, some auto body work that was needed, there were some interior restorations that were needed, and all these sponsors collaborated to get it to the condition that you see now, which is a fully functional van for the food bank.”

Rayann Gruza, who works out of the Central Okanagan Food Bank in Kelowna tells Castanet this is a game changer for their business as they help feed more than 9,500 people per month.

“One of the biggest things it’s going to help us do is help deliver food to the schools across School District 23 for our Food for Thought program, but it’s also going to help us with our food rescue efforts, and help us pick up produce from local agriculture partners, especially now that the Farmer’s Market is open again outside. It’s just going to help us receive so many more perishable food donations,” explained Gruza.

With demand nearly tripled since the pandemic, the Central Okanagan Food Bank is expanding their hours in Kelowna.

"Numbers are still increasing, we have expanded our appointments to a full day on Saturdays and a full day of tiny bundle appointments, so the need is definitely there in the community, so we are expanding our operations so that our staff and volunteers are not stretched too thin,” said Gruza.

“Kelowna is a tough place for people to survive if you’re in a single household, so about 40 per cent of our clients are single individuals. But another huge demographic we’ve seen over the last couple of months is dual income households, low wage earners, people who are working and trying to make ends meet but are still struggling.”

To lend a helping hand to the Central Okanagan Food Bank, simply reach out by phone or head to their website to learn more.

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