The Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre has been up and running since May. Recently it lost its only paid employee.
The administrative assistant position is temporarily being filled by volunteers until a new assistant is hired.
“With the disappointment of losing the employee comes the advantage of now being forced to train our volunteers,” said treasurer John Bubb.
“It’s amazing work and the most interesting job to sit at this desk and not know who’s going to come down those steps and then we, knowing what we know, make the connections for them to bring their lives back in to line.”
The Resource Centre has two computers and a fax machine for the public to use. The centre has the knowledge of a whole network of agencies and services that are available, thus enabling them to help their clients connect with the agency that best serves them.
Bubb explained that “people often come in, in a bit of a daze after trying to deal with something on their own and it just overwhelms them and they are frustrated. We are more emotionally detached and can think logically as to where they might get help.”
He added that with a few phone calls to Service Canada or one of the agencies or to a professional in town, the problem can usually be solved.
Since opening, the Resource Centre has served approximately 400 clients.
The centre is jointly funded by the Summerland Food Bank, the Summerland United Church, and the District of Summerland.
Speaking about the food bank, Bubb thanked the community and volunteers for their continued support.
“Summerland is hugely supportive of its food bank. We are very fortunate.”
Donations from individuals, schools, churches and businesses amounted to almost 6,000 kilograms of food being collected in less than eight months.
“Cash donations are especially appreciated because cash allows us to buy what’s needed,” said Bubb.
The statistics show that the vast majority of clients using the Summerland Food Bank are those on provincial disability support.
The remainder are those employed at low paying jobs, those on Social Assistance and some on pensions or having no income at all, in that order.
The Food Bank and Resource Centre has a total of 40 volunteers who have clocked 696 hours of service since May.
“We are here to serve people. That is our primary purpose,” Bubb said.
To find out more visit www.summerlandfoodbank.org or visit the Centre at 13204 Henry Ave.
If you know a positive story about someone in our community, contact Carla McLeod at email@example.com or contact the Summerland Review newsroom at 250-494-5406.