Kelowna Food Bank dealing with record levels of demand

Operations manager Rob Weller says the food bank is buying more food than ever before in preparation for high demand this Christmas.

Kelowna Food Bank operations manager Rob Weller wasn’t surprised when he read a recent report that suggested Canadian food banks are now assisting more people than ever.

According to HungerCount 2012, a report on hunger and food bank use in Canada, the need for food assistance programs in Canada grew this year.

In March 2012, 882,188 separate individuals received food—38 per cent of whom were children. That represents an increase of 2.4 per cent over 2011 and is 31 per cent higher than pre-recessionary levels.

According to Weller, the Kelowna Food Bank started noticing a significant difference last summer.

“Summer is usually a little slower here and this summer wasn’t,” said Weller.

“Usually by the end of August, our shelves are the emptiest, so we knew with numbers being up in July and August that the warehouse was going to be severely depleted.”

Community support poured in at the time; however, overall donations are still behind last year’s numbers and the food bank is eying down a Christmas season that could bring the highest demand the organization has ever seen.

Weller added the annual Canada Post food drive, which typically brings in 30,000 to 40,000 pounds of food, has been cancelled this year.

“It’s going to be a challenge for us to get through Christmas; we’re buying more food than we ever had before.”

The food bank operations manager said the public has continually come to the rescue through tough times in the past, but it’s a short-term solution.

“Long-term we need government to step forward. It’s kind of crazy that we live in a pretty wealthy country yet we have so many going without (food).”

The Kelowna Food Bank is the fourth largest food bank in B.C. It served 2,410 separate individuals in March of this year—an increase of five per cent from the year before. Forty per cent of those helped were children.

“The gap between the rich and poor continues to grow in the Central Okanagan due to a lack of meaningful and secure employment, the absence of a living wage, lack of affordable housing and the rising cost of living,” said Lenetta Parry, associate executive director at the Kelowna Food Bank.

“Some of our clients are working two or three jobs and still struggling to get by.”

wpaterson@kelownacapnews.com

 

Just Posted

Smoke sparks evacuation at Penticton apartments

Fire crews were called to 88 Duncan Ave just after 6:30 p.m., Tuesday

Accident backs up Glenmore

Commuters in Lake Country, between Vernon and Kelowna, advised to avoid area

Police incident ends peacefully in Glenmore

After the area was evacuated, police were able to calm a distraught 50-year-old man

UBCO students to get medical cannabis coverage

Kelowna - The pilot project will be implemented in April

Kelowna art camp held for spring break

Classes for children are available from March 19 to 29

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Canucks blow three goal lead, lose to Avalanche in overtime

Vancouver struggled on the penalty kill, as Colorado scored all five goals on the powerplay

Smoke sparks evacuation at Penticton apartments

Fire crews were called to 88 Duncan Ave just after 6:30 p.m., Tuesday

Widow of avalanche victim sues Golden lodge operator

A woman from Alberta is suing guides, their mountain guide association and the lodge operator for negligence

BC BUDGET: NDP hope to nix court delays with $15 million cash influx

Union says funding could stop sheriffs from leaving for higher paid jobs

Thompson, Chilcotin Steelhead Trout in danger of extinction

‘Once it’s gone, it’s not coming back’ says longtime Steelhead advocate Steve Rice.

Cattlemen urge B.C. to prevent erosion caused during 2017 wildfire season

Other concerns are fencing restoration and repair, and a lack of feed for cattle.

Skier air lifted from Cherryville

Elementary school students get a close look at emergency services in action

Most Read