Summerland is an affluent community in an affluent country, but even here, we have some among us who are living in poverty.
Each month, the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre distributes food and provides assistance to those who are in need. Statistics from the food bank show there is an ongoing need within the community.
Last year, a total of 489 people from 247 households required some assistance from the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre.
For some, it was a bit of help, just once. For others, the need is continual. Last year, 49 households in the community relied on the food bank for at least nine months.
These numbers should be cause for concern. When there is a consistent need for help, something has gone wrong.
Those who rely on the support of the food bank are not statistics. They are people who are experiencing need on a daily basis.
In today’s paper, we have a story of one woman who is trying to make ends meet on her monthly disability payment. Once her rent, storage and phone costs are paid, she has little left over for her other expenses, like food.
There are others who have similar stories of poverty and need.
When such stories are told, the response should be to ensure there are resources in place to provide help in a time of crisis. The food bank needs donations of food and money in order to meet the most immediate needs.
There is also a need for housing solutions. Some are living in substandard accommodations. Others, with more income, are struggling with high rents, leaving less money for other necessities.
Poverty is affecting this community and it is up to us to find ways to care for those who are in need.