Future of food banks under discussion

Food Bank volunteers from across the Columbia Valley gather in Kimberley

  • Sep. 25, 2013 7:00 p.m.

“4,175 individuals were provided food from food banks in the Columbia Basin in March 2012. To put this into context, food banks across the Columbia Basin provided food to a population equivalent to 50 per cent the size of Kimberley and surrounding area. This happens every month in the Columbia Basin.”

This is the opening statement in a study commissioned by the Golden Food Bank to look at food banks in the Columbia Basin. Funded by the Columbia Basin Trust, the study took an in-depth look at food banks in this area, what their unique challenges are, and how they could work together to support each other.

This week at the Kimberley Conference Centre, 11 of 19 food banks — including Kimberley and Cranbrook —  in the Basin met to talk about the study and to learn from each other.

The conference was organized by the Golden Food Bank, but held in Kimberley as a central point in the valley in order to facilitate as many people being able to attend as possible.

Barb Davies from the Golden Food Bank says a lot can be learned from the study.

“We learned that there is a huge amount of diversity in terms of how food banks in this area operate. But we do face common challenges. It seemed a good idea to bring food banks together to see how we can work together.”

The conference, also funded by CBT, is the first gathering of Basin food banks. While many volunteers from area food banks do attend the annual Food Bank BC conference, they may find they don’t have an awful lot in common with large food banks in areas like Surrey, where there may be 200 people lined up for assistance in the morning.

“We are really excited to have Basin food banks together,” Davies said.

Although the conference is regional, the executive director of Food Banks BC, Laura Lansink, attended.

Lansink says the Food Banks of the Columbia Basin study confirms what is happening throughout the province, and there is reason for optimism as well as concern over hunger.

“What are we doing about hunger? What is the future of food banks? This report highlights some things that are disturbing, shocking, but it is also encouraging to see how hard these people are working to make a difference.

“Across B.C. we serve 97,000 people, 29 per cent of them are children.”

Davies says numbers in the Basin are holding steady after reaching a peak in 2008 at the height of the recession. Unfortunately, they haven’t fallen from that peak.

“B.C. on average has the worst poverty rate, the second worst child poverty rate,” Linsink said. “One in seven children live below the poverty line. Think about that. Three or four kids in each classroom. In a small school with ten classes, that’s 30 or 40 children who live under the poverty line. When you compare lunches with the haves and the have-nots, it’s very painful. We are not doing very well in B.C.”

Just Posted

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

Repaving of Victoria Ave (3rd St. S. to 11th St. S.) began on Monday, June 12. Drivers are asked to please avoid the area for the remainder of the day, if possible. Please watch for and obey directions from flaggers and signage, as the detours will be moving regularly. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Road construction, repaving programs well underway

Local road construction and repaving work continue apace, as summer programs get… Continue reading

Vendors and customers at one of the Cranbrook markets in 2020. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
Cranbrook Farmers Market updates operating hours for the summer

Markets will continue to run from 10a.m. to 1p.m. until October 30th

City council passed first reading of a text amendment to a downtown zoning bylaw that would permit the land use for a craft brewery. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Downtown zoning amendment allowing craft brewery passes first reading

An application is moving forward that will tweak a downtown zoning bylaw… Continue reading

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read