The Kelowna Salvation Army food bank is in desperate need of staple food items such as cereal, pasta, canned soups, baked beans and canned vegetables.

“Over the past three months, we have seen a 47% increase in individuals and families accessing our services,” said community ministries co-ordinator Sonia Withers.

“There are many reasons for this. The reality is that everything continues to increase in cost each year, and some people are simply not making enough to pay all their bills and still put food on the table.”

To donate, you can drop by the army’s food drive from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Real Canadian Superstore. You can either shop at the store and donate or bring food from home.

“Thirty-seven per cent of the individuals the Salvation Army is supporting locally are under the age of 18,” said Withers.

“During the school year, there are some wonderful organizations providing support to children in the school system. However, the demands for food support on the family are often increased over the summer months.”

You can also donate at KelownaSalvationArmy.ca.

“Donations to the food bank are always important and always needed,” said army Capt. Darryl Burry.

“Hunger does not take a break for the summer, and so we are so deeply thankful for how this community continues to step up to support our most vulnerable citizens.”

At the army’s Community Life Centre, those in need can meet with a caseworker who does an assessment to see what support services, resources and referrals can help individuals and families break the cycle of poverty.

In most situations, part of the initial help is food.