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.

 

Just Posted

Fire claims two historic buildings in downtown Williams Lake

Several other businesses damaged by water used to fight the blaze

TRU hosts second round of public consultations

A dozen concerned lakecity locals came out to the Pioneer Complex to provide their feedback

Global Climate Strike and March a well-attended call to action

Generations of concerned citizens marched on city hall led by the youth of today

Update: Firefighters battle blaze in downtown Williams Lake

Diamonds and Dust Entertainment Lounge destroyed by fire, crews on scene

Air quality back to low risk in Williams Lake after firefighters extinguish downtown building fires

Crews continue to clean up after fire destroyed two downtown businesses

PHOTOS: Young protesters in B.C. and beyond demand climate change action

Many demonstaers were kids and teens who skipped school to take part

Walmart to quit selling e-cigarettes amid vaping backlash

U.S.’s largest retailer points to ‘growing’ complications in federal, state and local regulations

Former B.C. lifeguard gets house arrest for possession of child porn

Cees Vanderniet of Grand Forks will serve six months of house arrest, then two years’ probation

Crown alleges resentment of ex-wife drove Oak Bay father to kill his daughters

Patrick Weir alleged in his closing arguments that Andrew Berry is responsible for the deaths of his daughters

How to react to Trudeau’s racist photos? With humility, B.C. prof says

‘We are now treating racism as a crime that you cannot recover from’

‘I’d do it again,’ says B.C. man who swam naked, drunk in Toronto shark tank

David Weaver, of Nelson, was drunk when he went to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto on Oct. 12 2018

Victoria man spots online photo of his totem pole 11 years after it was stolen

Mark Trueman restored the pole himself before it was stolen off of his property in Duncan

Trudeau seeks meeting with Singh to apologize for blackface, brownface photos

‘I will be apologizing to him personally as a racialized Canadian,’ Trudeau said Friday

Charges stayed against Alberta RCMP officer in alleged off-duty Whistler assault

Const. Vernon Hagen instead completed an alternative measures program

Most Read