The Comox Valley Food Bank Society gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support of our funders, donors and volunteers for their heartfelt contributions during the past year. As we progress through this winter season the numbers of recipients continue to rise. Children make up 30 per cent of the total.
We had over 160 food drives and fundraising events last year that filled over 8,000 emergency food hampers. Our daily drop-in service for fresh fruit, vegetables, bakery items and sometimes dairy products has increased and we would like to see more of these items donated this year.
We thank the farmers, the grocery stores, the local citizens who donate produce along with fruit and nuts contributed by volunteer pickers.
The food bank feeds anyone requesting assistance. These are people from all walks of life that run into financial, medical or physical crises and need help. This could be anyone, including you or your next door neighbour.
My wish for the new year is that we lose the social stigma that the food bank only feeds opportunists and those not willing to help themselves. Less than 50 per cent of our clients are on social assistance. Many are the so-called working poor; some have jobs, either part-time or full-time, working at minimum wage, some are even self-employed. However, with steep rent, the expensive price of food and heating costs, many of our clients run out of money long before the end of the month.
I would like to see an end to food banks someday, however, food banks have changed the way people conduct business. There is a much greater awareness now of food waste and food discarded because it might have a bruise on it or in some way be less than perfect.
We are saddened to hear that Target will be leaving Courtenay as they have been an important donor to the food bank. We are grateful to Target for their support as we know that they have made a difference in our communities.
Again we thank everyone that has made contributions. All donations are very much appreciated and all have or will be utilized to help fellow community members in their time of need.
president, Comox Valley Food Bank Society