The Kamloops Food Bank is once again distributing hampers today despite the destruction wrought on its facility by a suspected arsonist last week.
On Thursday night, a man was seen running away from a wooden storage addition on the north side of the Wilson Street building just as fire engulfed the structure.
Damage to the structure isn't obvious from the outside, but inside, the noxious odour of smoke that hangs in the air ruined an estimated 4,500 kilograms, or $20,000, worth of food, according to executive director Bernadette Siracky.
But one person's wrongdoing was being outweighed by a rally of support over the weekend as individuals filled food bank donation bins in grocery stores throughout the city.
"This just shows us the generosity of this community yet again," said Siracky. "We are consistently amazed and grateful for the unique and expansive ways we are supported."
Insurance will cover much of the loss, said Siracky, but since the matter is being investigated as a crime, an adjustor's assessment could be a long way off. In the meantime, impoverished families are still going without.
Locals from every Kamloops demographic seemed to understand the grim situation and they stepped up, said Siracky.
"Individuals, businesses, corporate head offices and nine-year-olds creating food drives have demonstrated yet again that Kamloopsians are generous, compassionate and will always ensure that we can feed each person who comes to our door."
As temperatures reached 35 C on Monday, food bank board members and volunteers frantically sorted through 700 kilograms of donated food at the Wilson Street Food Action facility for distribution today.
"It's a concern for people who don't have very much," said 13-year-old volunteer Isaac Roberge of the loss of so much food.
"This food bank helps people lots," said 18-year-old Carley Siracky, a regular volunteer. "They needed extra help, so I volunteered today."
The food bank is open to clients this morning and its volunteers intend to continue to provide food as investigations and repairs are underway.
And it may well achieve its goal as donations continue to stream in.
The board hasn't yet seen the proceeds of Project X Theatre's load of non-perishable food items, which it collected during a performance of Romeo and Juliet on Aug. 4 in exchange for a $5 discount on admission.
And nine-year-old Christian Beatty, who made it his mission over the weekend to collect as much food as possible at the Juniper Superstore, intends to drop off his donations this morning.
He expects to unload more than 600 kilograms of food and $1,000 in donated cash.