A resource centre, under construction at Summerland United Church, will provide social services to those in need.
The church houses the Summerland Food Bank. The new centre will also provide access to other resources, along with a small transitional housing facility.
The cost of operating this facility is estimated at $42,000 a year. Of this, almost half the money will come from the municipality.
While an annual $20,000 commitment may seem significant, it is important to remember this represents around one-third of one per cent of the taxes collected for the municipality.
Social services are an important part of any community, even one as prosperous as Summerland. Providing for those in need is a necessity, not an option.
The Summerland Food Bank was formed in 1985 and is functioning under inadequate conditions.
The need for this service is increasing and at present, around 300 people in the community use it on a continual basis.
Access to other social services is equally important.
Penticton is the regional hub for many of these services, but getting there is a significant obstacle for some who need to access them.
While the resource centre will be a permanent part of the community, we hope the municipal funding will be a temporary need, or at the very least, we hope the municipality’s contribution can eventually be reduced.
We would like to see the community embrace this facility and provide the donations necessary in order to keep it operating.
At this time of the year, Summerlanders give generously to the food bank and to other initiatives to help those who are in need.
This spirit of giving must last as long as we continue to have needs.