Laura Harris

Laura Harris

Poverty increasing

Poverty has become more visible in the community, according to those who work with the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre.

Poverty has become more visible in the community, according to those who work with the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre.

“There are lots of people living in not good conditions,” said Tara Hollas, resource coordinator at the food bank.

These include people living in motels or rundown accommodations, including some paying $700 a month plus utilities for homes with mould on the walls and broken windows.

She said one Summerland woman had to move her bed into the living room of her home, since she could not afford to keep the bedroom heated last winter.

In addition, Hollas said some of the food bank’s clients earlier this year included a homeless couple and two single homeless men. In addition, three single men were living in their cars.

While most of these people have since left the community, Hollas said she knows of two who are still living in vehicles.

John Bubb, president of the food bank, said the food bank’s homeless clients were temporary residents.

“They are by nature transient,” he said.

The couple had hoped to remain in Summerland since they felt safer in a quiet community than in a shelter environment.

Hollas said there are many more food bank clients who have housing, but are not able to afford the food they need.

“When people come to the food bank, they literally have nothing in their cupboards,” she said.

Cash donations are appreciated, since food bank staff are able to buy in bulk, at a better price than residents who purchase food items to donate.

Food donations, especially donations of canned goods and food staples, are always in demand at the food bank.

Hollas also suggested donations of jam, peanut butter, ketchup and cookies — items someone would forego on a tight budget.

“What really breaks my heart is when the kids come in with their parents,” she said. “People don’t realize the kids are hungry. There is actually no food for them to eat.”

Bubb said the number of people using the food bank has been increasing over the years.

From Nov. 1, 2014 to Oct. 31, 2015, there were 272 Summerland households served by the food bank.

The total number of people who received food bank donations was 581, up from 557 a year earlier.

Bubb said the biggest increase was in the number of single people requiring assistance. Over the past year, the food bank’s clients included 118 singles.

While social assistance is available for those in need, Bubb said the rates are low and have been locked in at the 2007 figures.

Since that time, costs have increased by 12 to 15 per cent.

“We need a fix,” he said. “The system isn’t working.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Nominally 'flushable' wipes caused one of Keremeos lift stations to shut down, damaging the pump inside. The Village is asking residents not to flush anything that isn't human waste. (Black Press)
Keremeos reminds residents not to flush wipes after pump damaged

‘Flushable’ wipes caused the pump to seize up and burn out

Twin sisters Kyla, left, and Jordyn Bear have accepted scholarships to play at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York for this upcoming fall. The 17-year-olds dream of playing together for Canada in the Olympics one day. (Jesse Johnston/CP photo)
Lake Country twins inspire Indigenous hockey players

Grade 12 George Elliot Secondary students Kyla and Jordyn Bear earn hockey scholarships at NCAA Division 1 school

The plane blasted through an airport fence and down a hill, before stopping before a cement barrier on Highway 5A, right in front of a school bus. Photo submitted.
Student pilot crashes plane onto Highway 5A in Princeton

Aircraft hit pavement right in front of school bus

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after being recorded making comments to a DTES harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Sarah Blyth/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Police officer convicted of uttering threats under B.C. watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to civilian Sarah Blyth

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of B.C. residents have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP were present at the McDonalds in Armstrong Thursday, April 15, 2021. (Tomer Joury - Facebook)
Police handle ‘high-risk’ situation at Armstrong residence

A woman was apprehended and taken to hospital under the Mental Health Act; no charges laid

Most Read