Ian McFarland on Food Banks

A while ago an SWL in Europe who purchased one of the CD sets commented that he didn’t know what food banks were.

They didn’t have such a thing in his country he said.

If indeed there is no need for food banks in his country then he should feel very fortunate.

altIt occurs to me that many SWLs outside North America may not be familiar with food banks, so I thought an explanation might be in order, since it is one particular food bank , a charity, that is the beneficiary of the money raised by the sale of the CD sets that Colin Newell and I have been producing for the last few years.
In Canada, as well as in the United States, there are many thousands, if not millions, of people whose incomes are very low and who live in poverty. This can be due to many reasons, such as being a single parent on social assistance; working in a low paying menial job; or receiving a disability pension. There are also those who are unemployable for one reason or another and who receive social assistance from one form of government or another.

Whatever the reason for their state of poverty, when a person gets through paying rent for their accommodation and an assortment of other basic monthly expenses, there is, more often than not, comparatively little money left over for food. This is especially true in families that include children.

Food banks are run mainly by unpaid volunteers and without all this volunteer help food banks would not exist. These food banks differ greatly in size, depending on the populations that they serve. They are financed mainly by public donations, and depend in part on donations of food from the public and local businesses as well as national companies.

In addition, food banks need to purchase food supplies to augment donations. In the particular food bank where I volunteer my time two days each week, there is also what is known as a soup kitchen.

Anyone can come and get a sandwich and good, nourishing homemade soup, six days per week, so nobody in the community needs to go hungry. They can also come in once a month and get a hamper of groceries to help supplement whatever food they are able to buy themselves.

Sadly, food banks are a necessary fact of everyday life for far too many people in Canada, and in its next door neighbour the United States. The sales of the first two CD sets have generated some $2,000 to help support the food bank in the city of Duncan. British Columbia, where I live.

Sincere thanks go out to everyone who has bought these CD sets for helping to support a very worthy cause in my particular Canadian community.

Ian McFarland