Jennifer Dykstra of the Summerland Food Bank stocks the food bank’s shelves. This month

Food bank provides seasonal help

This holiday season, the Summerland Food Bank will distribute 105 hampers to individuals and families in need.

  • Wed Dec 11th, 2013 2:00pm
  • Life

This holiday season, the Summerland Food Bank will distribute 105 hampers to individuals and families in need.

The hampers will assist 161 adults and 81 children.

Kathy Hogman, a volunteer with the Summerland Food Bank, said the community has been generous in helping those who are in need at this time of the year.

“That’s what this community is: people helping one another,” she said.

The annual Toys and Toonies for Tots to Teens drive, organized by the Summerland Fire Department with assistance from volunteers at the CIBC branch, provides gifts for children and teens.

Donations have been collected since the Festival of Lights.

Many have already dropped off donations of gifts or cash for the drive.

“Literally hundreds of people are involved” Hogman said.

While the need for the food bank exists, she said it is often hard to see.

“Oddly enough in our open and loving community, poverty is a hidden shame,” she said. “People are so afraid that they will be seen as ‘less than.’”

In addition to providing food, the Summerland Resource Centre and Food Bank provides access to various services.

“Some people need more than just food,” Hogman said.

“We want a support system for those people.”

While the need for the food bank is greatest in December, there are many who require assistance throughout the year.

In November, 88 families and a total of 186 people used the food bank.

In October, the food bank helped 71 families and 157 people.

Food and monetary donations in December help the food bank in January to March.

In spring and summer, itinerant fruit pickers, working in the Okanagan for the season, often require assistance.