Food Banks Canada released its Hunger Count figures for 2014. Those figures are based on the information surveyed during the month of March every year.
The Help for Humanity group at Wadena Composite School collected non-perishable food and held a lasagna fundraiser on Halloween. Group members, right to left, Rebecca Godhe, Josie Bjerland, Kylee Sobchishin and Kaelen Hoffmueller delivered the groceries and a cheque to Wynyard Food Bank volunteer Darlene Storos. (Photo: Dawn Lorenzen)
You could drown in statistics, so here are just the Saskatchewan figures.
Since 2008, the number of Saskatchewan residents using food banks rose 51 per cent, well above the national average. That is disturbing enough but what is really shocking is the statistic showing that the use of food banks in Saskatchewan rose an astounding 19 per cent from last year’s usage. Unfortunately, of the 26,820 people who used the food banks in our province last March, 46 per cent were children.
Why do people even need the food bank in this province of plenty? There are many reasons: inadequate pensions, not enough affordable housing, ineffective social assistance programs, inadequate job skills and literacy rates. These are issues that the grassroots level cannot change; they require government intervention.
Food Banks Canada’s website (foodbankscanada.ca/HungerCount) gives a great deal of information if you are interested.
Closer to home, the Wynyard and District Food Bank has been extremely busy the past few months. In August, 34 hampers weighing 595 pounds equalling $1487.50 were distributed to 68 adults and 100 children. In September, 760 pounds equalling $1900 were put into 46 hampers and distributed to 91 adults and 117 children. October saw 57 adults and 56 children accessing our food bank. Forty-four hampers, weighing 775 pounds ($1937.50) were distributed. During these three months, 18 people accessed our food bank for the very first time.
With winter upon us, the food bank gets busier. Thanks to the generosity of groups, businesses and individuals, the doors of the Wynyard and District Food Bank can remain open.
Submitted by Cherry Staszczak