Hope bucks provincial trend

Food bank isn't struggling to keel shelves stocked

While many food banks across the province are struggling to keep their shelves stocked this summer, the location in Hope isn’t facing the same challenge.

Food banks typically experience a shortage at this time of year as people who would normally donate are away on vacation or stay indoors due to the heat. In Hope, seniors are the largest cohort donating to the local food bank.

“Normally we are struggling at this time of year,” said Maclynne Bourquin, executive director of Hope Community Services.

“We received a large quantity of food at Christmas time that kept the food bank going and we did not have to dip into the funds we received until recently. The community throughout the year has continued to be generous with donations of food and funds.”

The number of food bank clients has remained steady over the last four years. According to Statistics Canada, the percentage of unique individuals receiving help in Hope last December was 20 per cent of the population. Food bank volunteers are currently handing out 130 hampers every month, which feeds about 200 people in Hope and 50 in Boston Bar.

Bourquin said the typical food bank client is a family living on very low wages (part-time employment that is supplemented by income assistance sometime throughout the year), or single people living on income assistance.

“September will soon be here and families in the past have reported they struggle at this time as they have to make different purchases for their children to be ready to start school,” said Bourquin.

“We never have enough funds to provide the type of foods we would like to assist families with.”

The food bank is currently in need of canned meat (tuna, salmon, ham), peanut butter, jam, cheese, canned/powdered milk, oatmeal, cereal (low sugar types), hot chocolate, rice, and canned vegetables and fruit.

The food bank is open every Wednesday at Northwest Harvest Church on Third Avenue, from 11:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. All donations receive a tax receipt and can be dropped off Hope Community Services during office hours.

For more information, call 604-869-2466.