There will be many ways to help the less fortunate in our community this holiday season and the Tribune urges those with the means to help wherever they are able. The Tribune’s annual food and toy drive for the Salvation Army’s Christmas Cheer program is coming up Dec. 15. Last year several truck loads of food

Williams Lake food bank needs exceed national average

Food Bank Canada has released the 2012 Hunger Count.

Food Bank Canada has released the 2012 Hunger Count.

The Williams Lake food bank was not surprised by its content.

Food bank use in B.C. has increased by 6.6 per cent — much higher than the average rise of 2.4 per cent across the country.

The report shows that 11.4 per cent who accessed services at B.C. food banks between 2011 and 2012 are employed.

An increasing number of employed people can no longer feed their families.

The reason, the report suggests, is that 18 per cent of employed Canadians — almost one in five — earn less than $17,000 a year.

In Williams Lake we see more and more individuals who are holding down two, at times even three, part time jobs; and still cannot make ends meet.

Canadian food bank usage is up 31 per cent since the start of the 2008 recession.   Port Moody and Port Coquitlam has reported a 59-per-cent increase in the last four years.

Usage of the Williams Lake Food Bank is up a staggering 1,000 per cent since the beginning of 2008.

The cost of housing, utilities, clothing, and food has increased steadily over the past four years.

Minimum wage increased, however, full-time jobs are scarce, especially for the unskilled labour force.

The living wage for Williams Lake has been calculated at $18 per hour (more than $35,000 annually).

Sixty per cent of the Williams Lake food bank clientele are singles.

A single person living on social assistance has to make ends meet on $3.80 an hour or $7,560 annually and rent in town absorbs 55-75 per cent of these funds.

A single person living on provincial disability has approximately $900 a month, the majority of clients utilize over 60 per cent of their income on rent.

The Williams Lake food bank in the past four years has extended its service area to include outlying communities where no food bank exists.

Donations are also being received from all around the Cariboo.

In 2007, access to food was limited to four times a year.

Today the most needy families can access once a week and receive staple goods, fruit and vegetables, snacks, and personal care and cleaning supplies.

Each hamper is designed to last two or three days.

In 2011, the provincial average cost of the nutritious food basket for a family of four was $868 per month.

Those earning minimum wage, receiving income assistance, or facing other challenges (high rents, child care, high transportation costs) struggle to find ways to purchase food as well as meet their other basic needs.

The Williams Lake Food Bank assesses client’s income and basic living expenses to determine “household” funds available for monthly groceries.

Individuals with  less than $200, or families with less than $500 for their grocery budget may access food bank as often as once a week.

Entertainment and clothing expenses are not calculated when determining eligibility.  The food bank also issues clothing vouchers when need is determined.

This year, the Williams Lake Salvation Army food bank had to start purchasing canned meats, pork and beans, pasta and pasta sauce as early as August.

The Christmas Food Drives fill the shelves and provide hampers to needy families.  Donations are appreciated throughout the year, without them we cannot adequately meet the needs of our community.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wells mining camp worker tests positive for COVID-19

A worker at a mining camp tested positive for the coronavirus after leaving the camp.

Downtown Williams Lake Art Walk 2020 opens Aug. 7

This year’s event features 27 businesses and 28 artists

Rodeo clinic, ranch visit entertains First Nations youth and elders in B.C.’s Interior

A fun time had for Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation at C+ Rodeos

Studies show Mount Polley Mine breach material re-suspends in Quesnel Lake

High copper levels continue in Quesnel River six years after breach

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Alberta to require masks at schools this fall, but still no mandate in B.C.

B.C. students are also set to return to classrooms in September

B.C. to allow customers to buy cannabis online for in-store pickup at private shops

Age verification will still be required inside the store

Interior Health expands COVID-19 testing access in Kelowna

First-come, first-serve, no-appointment-needed testing centre opens in downtown Kelowna

30% of British Columbians would ‘wait and see’ before taking COVID vaccine: poll

Some are concerned about side effects, while others don’t think the virus is a big deal

Don’t leave your hand sanitizer in the sun and other tips to stay COVID safe this summer

Being mindful of staying outside and keeping hand sanitizer, sunscreen out of the sun recommended

What exactly is ‘old growth’ B.C. forest, and how much is protected?

Forests minister Doug Donaldson doesn’t support ‘moratorium’

Canadians can travel to Hawaii in September; no quarantine with negative COVID test

Travellers will be required to pay for their own tests prior to arriving

Most Read