The number of households using the services of the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre has been increasing over the past year since federal COVID-19 benefits have come to an end.
Hal Roberts, a resource coordinator at the centre, said the demand has been increasing since October 2021 when the federal support program ended.
“Our numbers are going up and the increase is primarily families with children,” he said.
He explained that prior to the start of the pandemic benefit program in early 2020, an average of 100 households a month used the food bank’s services. This number fell as the federal benefits helped some families who had been struggling financially.
The number of families has now been rising and in August 2022, there were 94 households who needed the food bank’s services. Nearly one-third of these were families with children.
Roberts said the majority of households using the food bank’s services are working people where income is not enough to pay for the expenses.
“These are families that are working,” he said. “Very few of our households are unemployed.”
Since January, inflation and rising housing costs have taken a toll on some households where finances had already been tight, he said.
While the use of the food bank is increasing, Roberts said the facility is able to meet the increasing demand. He said the community of Summerland has been generous and when a request for help is given, people will respond with donations of food and money.
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