By David F. Rooney
The cupboard is getting decidedly bare at the Community Connections’ Food Bank.
“I was just speaking with Marilyn Hermann who is the president of Food Banks BC and she indicated that food banks across BC are all struggling this year,” said Larson, who — as Community Connections outreach services manager — oversees the food bank. “Our cupboards here in Revelstoke are bare and at this point there is not a lot of food for anyone to share. This is an all time low for our food bank!”
She said Food Bank supporters can help by donating basic food items such as canned meat, pasta and sauce, cereal, peanut butter, soups and meals-in-a-tin (such as ravioli, stew etc.). Cash helps, too, of course and those who can easily make a cash donation are encouraged to do so.
Real, solid non-perishable food and cash donations by the community are needed because while a $2 million grant to the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets provides coupons to low-income families and seniors to they can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables, it really doesn’t go very far.
The program is only running for 14 weeks and gives families coupons worth $15 each week, while seniors will receive $12 worth. Coupons are treated like cash and can be used to purchase a variety of BC food products including fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, dairy and fresh cut herbs. But that’s not going to purchase a lot of anything at the market where a bag of mixed greens that might provide a small salad for two adults goes for $3 or more.
A statement from the provincial government said the program will support up to 50 families and pregnant women and up to 10 seniors per community. The intent is to expand the program to support more individuals and BC communities each year.
This comes just in time for the almost-seasonal dip in the Food Bank’s fortunes.
Larson said the Food Bank is now relying on food shipments from Food Banks BC, the umbrella agency for the province’s many community food banks but all communities in BC are struggling this year.
Anyone who wishes to help Revelstoke’s food bank can do so by purchasing one a $2 coupon at Cooper’s or Southside, or by dropping off cash or non-perishable food items.
For more information please call Patti Larson at 250-837-2920, ext. 28, or send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.