Saturday, December 22, 2012

Loaves & Fishes Food Bank

Nanaimo's Good News Story
Nanaimo's Bad News Story

The Good News

Nanaimo is a community which clearly demonstrates it's care and concern for all of it's citizens and realizes that in spite of provincial welfare programs, and programs such as unemployment insurance, there are simply times when it was either 'rent or food' this month and rent came first.

According to the Loaves and Fishes website they have an annual budget of $1,000,000.00 and have seen 5300 people so far in 2012, that's 1 in 20 people in all of Nanaimo, 1,000 people visit each week, they have 8 depots across the city, 300 volunteers make it happen, were started in 1990.

They have continually expanded, moving into and upgrading facilities to meet rising demand for their services including an improved storage area which accommodates lift trucks making the whole operation much more efficient.

The city of Nanaimo recently approved a grant in the order of $65,000 which allows for the purchase of a large refrigerated truck to further improve their efficiencies.

The Bad News

Nanaimo seems to have a fully entrenched degree of poverty which the community is helpless to solve. It also points to serious deficiencies in our much beloved safety nets which on a provincial and federal level seem sadly lacking. With proper support vis a vis social welfare, why are people not able to keep up with the very basics of life such as food? The current level of social assitance would not appear to provide sufficient resources to keep body and soul together without relying on the charity of the local food bank. Something is wrong with that picture.

Back in 1990 I am sure many thought the Food Bank would be a temporary measure to just help people get over a rough patch, but even during the boom days in Nanaimo, the need for the food bank never diminished, it seemed to continue to increase if anything.

While the expansion of the facilities warehouse, the addtiion of lift trucks and now a refrigerated truck will all help the food bank better fill their role in the community, it really makes you wonder what we are doing so wrong, that food banks need to exist at all.

People on city council and city hall, will tell you how well we are doing, and how ever increasing taxes in Nanaimo are not to be worried about, but I wonder if they have considered that every time the city takes a dollar out of residents pockets, that is another dollar they don't have to give to the food bank, or to support a job creating business with.

Some Councillors may think city spending is not out of control, but I wonder if they really have the ability to assess economics with any degree of expertise?


1 comment:

  1. With little work, poor welfare rates & no hope on the horizon can you tell us where the money went besides stupid taxes? Those with jobs and money are having enough problems themselves to drop a can into the food bank drop off bin


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