This afternoon I stopped to talk to a young man asking for change outside the Summerland Liquor Store.
I suggested that he could find help at the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre (not disclosing that I was in fact its president).
He informed me in very aggressive terms that our Summerland Food Bank was one of the most unhelpful he had ever encountered and that he had been rejected there because he was living between Summerland and Peachland and did not have a permanent address.
Rather than argue with him I immediately went to the food bank and asked our full-time resource coordinator to accompany me back to the liquor store where we discovered that this person had never asked the food bank for help.
We invited him to come in later in the afternoon to pick up some food – he never arrived.
Our assumption is that this person attempts to solicit sympathy and thus more money by telling shoppers that the food bank refuses to help him.
For the record our Summerland food bank stretches itself to the limit to provide assistance to anyone who demonstrates a need. In the year ending Oct. 31, 2015 we handed out 47 emergency hampers of food in addition to the more than 1,100 we provided to registered users of the food bank.
Shoppers beware — you are being skillfully conned.
John Bubb, President
Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre