In the wake of a heinous crime, the West Coast is wrapping its arms around those who need them the most by replenishing what was lost and then some.
“This is a wonderful little town. It’s always really supportive of us and this robbery, I think, has brought it to more people’s attention,” said Food Bank on the Edge volunteer Kaytee Devlin. “We’re just so thrilled with the response from everybody in this town. We’ve always had a lot of support from everybody here, but this is beyond. And, it’s nice that everybody is as annoyed with whoever took it; that’s a pretty low thing to do.”
It was Devlin who discovered the Food Bank had been ransacked when she arrived to drop off donations on Thanksgiving Sunday around 10 a.m. and realized hundreds of dollars worth of food, clothing and hygiene products were missing. The Ucluelet RCMP are investigating and seeking the public’s assistance, asking anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area to contact the local RCMP detachment at 250-726-7773.
Since news of the theft broke, Devlin has been thrilled to see an outpouring of support flow in from the West Coast. Ucluelet’s Floathouse Patio and Grill donated all sales from their final night of the season on Oct. 14 bringing in $2,600 and Devlin said countless locals have been donating bottles, food, money and Co-op gift cards in abundace.
“I am so impressed with all the people in this town,” she said. “It’s very giving. It’s very understanding. There’s the greatest people here.”
She said food donations as well as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, deodorant, Feminine hygiene products, and laundry soap are always appreciated.
“Anything that you would use in the home that people have a hard time finding the money for,” she said.
The Food Bank on the Edge Society’s treasurer Barb Millar told the Westerly there was an “immediate outpouring of support” from the West Coast.
“We are very appreciative of the year-round support that we get from a number of businesses and individuals within the community,” she said adding that support is vital in the coming months as the Food Bank prepares its Christmas Hamper Program.
“I think the robbery of the Food Bank really did elevate the awareness of the Food Bank need in the community…The reaction of ‘How could someone rob a Food Bank?” had people immediately wanting to help and donate in ways that were really focused on trying to replace the loss that we suffered during the theft.”
She said the Food Bank’s need grows every year and sees a roughly 10 per cent annual increase to its client list.
“We really do bridge a food security gap for those people in our community that are struggling,” she said.
Locals can drop donations off at the Food Bank, located next to the Seaplane Base Recreation Hall, on Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or at the Ucluelet Co-op’s donation bin. Donations can also be organized by calling 250-726-6909.