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Roberts Creek neighbours stuff new food cupboard with donations

Salvation Army initiative invites neighbours to help neighbours
N.Food cupboard-1
Sunshine Coast Salvation Army director Darrell Pilgrim said the new food cupboard in Roberts Creek will help provide easier access to food and other necessities for those in need.

A new way to help your neighbours has arrived in Roberts Creek in the form of a food cupboard – and the community responded immediately. 

A few weeks ago, the Sunshine Coast Salvation Army put the cupboard in place outside the Roberts Creek Community Library.

“And before we even had time to put food in it, people had filled it with food,” Darrell Pilgrim, the Sunshine Coast Salvation Army director, told Coast Reporter. “Which is great, because that's the whole point is it's not just supposed to be food coming from the food bank, it's the neighbours helping neighbours.” 

The bright yellow cupboard was designed by the builder to fit the neighbourhood’s aesthetic, Pilgrim said, and is located next to the public library.

The Sunshine Coast Salvation Army food bank serves the community from Gibsons to Roberts Creek, but once the pandemic began, some people expressed their concerns that it was difficult to travel to the Gibsons location, especially when the weather is bad or for last-minute items. About 10 to 20 per cent of the people the Salvation Army food bank helps are from Roberts Creek, Pilgrim said. 

The idea for the cupboard in Roberts Creek began last spring, and the Salvation Army partnered with the Roberts Creek Community Association. The Sunshine Coast Foundation and District of Sechelt both provided funds for the project.

Volunteers will monitor the cupboard and the Salvation Army will restock it when needed. The cupboard has already been well-used, Pilgrim noted on Dec. 7. The public is also welcome to help stock the cupboard with non-perishables and goods such as toiletries and warm clothes such as gloves. 

Perishables can be donated to the Salvation Army food bank’s daily food recovery program at their location at 5-682 Gibsons Way. Around eight businesses donate bread products and baked goods to the program.

The cupboard, Pilgrim said, helps bring easier access to necessities, as well as dignity to those who are not comfortable asking for help. 

“We believe that everybody has a right to food,” Pilgrim said. “Sometimes people can help and sometimes they need help, so it's about how we do that together.”