Nicola Valley Food Bank to hold annual general meeting on March 28.

Today at 6:30 p.m., the Nicola Valley Food Bank (NVFB) will hold their annual general meeting at the Merritt Civic Centre, located at 1950 Mamette Ave., in room 4.

The food bank will elect new directors as well as reflecting on performance in 2023.

We will be providing a year in review and I think the information and statistics will illustrate just how critical our operations are to so many people in the area,” said NVFB vice-president Neil Todd.

“We’ve been busy trying to keep up with our daily intake, so basically, it will tell us how many clients we serviced in 2023 and I believe 15,867 people that came through our door,” said NVFB general manager Derlanda Hewton.

Of the 15,867 people that entered the food bank, 43 per cent identified as male and 57 per cent identified as female.

The food bank will also be discussing the future of a new building. The NVFB has already acquired the property for the new building and will be focusing on a capital campaign for 2024.

“We’re hoping that once people understand what our vision is for the food bank, like to have an education center, to have our own garden so that we can have our fresh vegetables for our clients, things like that,” said Hewton. “Then maybe we’d have more support as just not to help feed people, but to expand.”

Hewton also commented on the misconception that the food bank only feeds the homeless.

“We are (feeding the homeless), however, they’re a very small percentage of our clients,” said Hewton. “It’s not just people on income support, it’s people that are seniors … it’s people that are waiting for double lung transplants, … it’s people that are newcomers to our country … it’s working people that are working full time but don’t have the income to support their families but don’t have the income to support their family right now because of the cost of living.”