It is not easy… being down on your luck. It keeps you from getting to sleep at night. It wakes you up at 4 am. It affects your self-esteem. And if your cupboard is empty, it feels even worse.
Many of us may find it diffcult to believe that here in Canada, in Newfoundland and Labrador, there could be people without enough food. But there are. There are low-income seniors. There are struggling single parents. A person can have a job but still not make ends meet if the pay is low, and the electric bill goes higher in winter or the kids need something, anything, for school.
According to the Community Food Sharing Association, it costs $153 a week to feed a household in NL. Times that by four weeks. Tack on an electric bill. Think about how far a ten dollar bill goes in a supermarket these days. Suddenly, that there may be people locally without enough food becomes very believable.
How the Green Bay Food Bank Helps
The Green Bay Food Bank opened in Springdale in the mid-1970s and has reliably been in the same location all those years, which is the basement of 135 Main Street.
It is open just one hour a week, on Thursdays from 3-4 pm, but does a lot and serves a wide area — from Brighton to Rattling Brook and everywhere between.
In 2016, 156 families were registered at the Green Bay Food Bank. The need has increased. So far in 2017, an additional 22 families have registered.
Each family can receive one hamper every two months. The hamper is intended to provide enough food to tide a family over for one week.
This food bank is run by 16 dedicated volunteers, and they distribute what they can.
Groceries come to the Food Bank by way of donations and food drives. Both are greatly appreciated. There are schools, churches and organizations that have periodic food drives, which are most common around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Some locations have regular Food Bank ‘drop off boxes’.
But it is still a challenge for the 16 volunteers to keep the shelves stocked year-round.
What Can We Do To Help? What Is Needed?
Non-perishables are accepted. Currently sugar and tinned milk are needed. In fact, staple food items are always needed: tea bags, sugar, tinned milk, margarine, juice, crackers, etc.
Foods aimed towards kids are also welcomed: juice boxes and school snacks, for example. (According to the Community Food Sharing Association, 40% of food bank users are children under 18.)
Money donations are also gratefully accepted. Money allows the volunteers to buy any specific items that the Food Bank is running low on. They know best what is in need at any given time.
Contact Green Bay Food Bank volunteers
Ruth Butt (673-3805)
or Donna Snow (673-3581) to arrange making a donation.
It will surely be very appreciated.
After all, no one should have to face an empty cupboard.