EDITORIAL: The need for reliable funding

The Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre, which provides food and other assistance to those in need, is operating on a tight budget.

The Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre, which provides food and other assistance to Summerlanders in need, is operating on a tight budget.

The budget is for $118,000 a year, or a little less than $10,000 a month.

Some of this money comes from private donations, the municipality, the Summerland United Church and the United Way.

In past years, a provincial gaming grant has accounted for a significant portion of the funding needed for the centre.

However, this funding is not guaranteed from one year to the next. The amount of funding can fluctuate, and there are no assurances any money will come from the province.

This puts the centre in a precarious position.

If the funding is reduced, as has happened in the past, the centre’s board will be forced to make some difficult financial decisions.

And if the money is eliminated entirely, it would become difficult if not impossible to provide the present level of support to the community.

Over the past 12 months, 526 people from 239 households have received food assistance. That’s more than one in 25 Summerlanders.

Children accounted for roughly one-third of those who received food aid.

Poverty issues are affecting too many people within our community.

Food is a necessity and the centre is not a service that can be ignored.

The Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre must have a solid, dependable funding model if it is to meet the needs of our community.

Without adequate support, this centre will not be able to provide assistance to those among us who have the greatest needs.