The Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre has received recognition for its ongoing work in providing assistance to those in need within the community.
On Saturday evening, at the Summerland Business and Community Excellence Awards, the centre was given the Mayor’s Award of Excellence.
This award is presented to an organization within the community.
The food bank began its operations in March, 1984.
That month, seven requests were received and seven hampers were delivered.
Since that time, the demand for the food bank’s services has increased each year.
During the food bank’s last fiscal year, 259 families, representing nearly 600 people, received assistance.
John Bubb, president of the food bank, said some of those who use the food bank’s services have a temporary need.
“People are falling into poverty all the time, and are getting out of it,” he said.
He added that the food bank and resource centre provides an important service within the community.
“Even in the most affluent societies, there are going to be people in need,” he said.
At the same time, he has noticed changes in the types of people who are receiving services from the food bank and resource centre.
Over the past year, employed families accounted for 71 households receiving food bank assistance.
“The largest number of people this year are people who are employed,” he said.
Those receiving provincial disability accounted for 69 households, while 39 households were on social assistance.
There were 32 households reporting no income at all.
The increasing demand on the food bank is “a product of the failing welfare system,” Bubb said.
He added that the food bank’s volunteers have played an important role in providing the services.
Over the past year, 57 volunteers contributed 1,075 hours of their time.