Some perspective about Comox Valley Food Bank

Dear editor,
Although I regularly see volunteers at the CV Food Bank, I personally help at a soup kitchen instead.
After carefully reading the letter (Record, Sept. 23) regarding the less-than-satisfying experience at our local food bank, I had to pass on my own perspective.

Dear editor,Although I regularly see volunteers at the CV Food Bank, I personally help at a soup kitchen instead.After carefully reading the letter (Record, Sept. 23) regarding the less-than-satisfying experience at our local food bank, I had to pass on my own perspective.The service provided at the food bank, and most soup kitchens, for that matter, is based upon a huge amount of volunteer effort and charitable donations.Over the past 15 years, I have seen a continual increase in the needs of hungry and homeless people, with a very small increase in the amount of help to provide it.For each person requiring a hot meal or bag of groceries, volunteers have driven around to the local businesses offering foodstuffs, discarded the rotten vegetables and moldy bread, boxed up food packs, cooked soups and prepared sandwiches or salads.After spending hours working to prepare consumable foods, it is very disheartening for volunteers to hear that the choices are not to individual tastes or that there should be alternatives. Agreed, lining up for “handouts” is an embarrassing process, but the facilities are the best available, even if they do not address privacy concerns.Food bank parcels or soup kitchen meals are prepared to provide the best nutrition for the buck and time allowed. If the choice is not suitable for an individual, they are free to say “no thanks”, but please don’t expect that there will be an alternative provided — there is not the time or funds to accommodate any more.The vast majority of people I have served over the years have been very appreciative and courteous of volunteer efforts. Sadly, it is the rude or dishonest person that will be remembered.One complaint may seem small, but a steady stream of criticism will wear down the staunchest advocate. If you think not, just wait until the services and choices shrink as the volunteers disappear.Denise Bainbridge,Courtenay

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