Emergency Response


Emergency Response

What is the Central Okanagan Food Bank’s role during a crisis?  

When crisis occurs, we play a critical role in responding to emergencies that disrupt food supplies for individuals and communities.

We specialize in the storage, mobilization, and distribution of food during emergencies, leveraging our relationships with food retailers and wholesalers to access large bulk quantities of food that we can disperse at a moment’s notice.

Since 2020, we have responded to 5 major crises, which include the COVID-19 pandemic and climate-related emergencies such as the 2021 atmospheric river as well as multiple forest fires locally and across the region.

Emergency Hamper Program

Our emergency hamper program serves as a critical resource for individuals and families who are abruptly displaced from their homes.

Whether facing natural disasters or other emergencies, these situations can leave people in shock and uncertain about their next meal.

Emergency Hampers are ready for distribution within 24 hours of a declared state of emergency. These hampers include essential items such as hand-held snacks and meals, water, and hygiene products, ensuring that recipients have access to necessities during challenging times. 

Our emergency hamper program is available to anyone who needs it during a crisis, regardless of whether they are a registered client of the food bank.

This ensures support is accessible to all those who require assistance, helping to alleviate the immediate impact of the crisis and providing a sense of stability during precarious times. 

How You Can Help

Your support for our emergency preparedness efforts will make a significant impact on our ability to respond swiftly and effectively during times of crisis in our community. Together, we can ensure that our community is prepared and resilient in the face of emergencies. 

McDougall Creek Fire: Disaster at our Doorstep

During the 2023 McDougall Creek wildfire crisis, the Central Okanagan Food Bank swiftly mobilized to support those affected by the disaster. Within 24 hours of the state of emergency declaration, the food bank established communication channels with all levels of government, coordinating the delivery of emergency food hampers to designated shelter points. These efforts ensured that evacuees had access to essential nutrition during their displacement. 

Simultaneously, we connected with aid organizations operating on the front lines, providing them with bulk food items to support evacuees and prepare meals for first responders. The provision of handheld snacks for first responders fighting the wildfire blaze further demonstrated our commitment to sustaining those working tirelessly to contain the fire. 

Collaborating with partner agencies, such as the Salvation Army, we ensured that temporary residences involved in frontline efforts were well-fed. This collaborative approach not only boosted morale but also contributed to the effectiveness of the firefighting and relief operations. 

Furthermore, we remained dedicated to supporting community members in the long term. Once residents were able to return to their homes, they were offered food hamper support and assistance with restocking staple food items. This commitment to addressing ongoing food insecurity challenges plays a crucial role in helping affected individuals and families rebuild and reestablish their lives in the aftermath of the wildfire.