Anne McClymont Elementary students Lucy Dehaas and Madison Dyck present $363.70 to the Kelowna Food Bank. The funds are from their pizza fundraiser last Friday.
The girls treated all three grade six classes to a delicious hot lunch, by donation. “Everybody had a slice even if they didn’t make a donation,” says Madison.
“We wanted to help the food bank at Christmas because we think everyone should have food to come home to every day,” says Lucy. “We raised $363 dollars in one day! What can you do?”
Lucy’s dad extends a special thank you to the team at Mr. Mozzarella in the Mission for donating 12 of their famous pizzas.
Justin dropped by the Kelowna Food Bank today just to say thanks. He is a single dad working three jobs while caring for his four-year-old son. He recently earned his Community Support Worker Diploma from Vancouver Career College and is working at both the Bridge Family Services and the Pathways Abilities Society.
Now he is helping others.
“Last year, I was in school full-time,” he says. “Knowing we had good food in the house took most of the pressure off. The snack packs were very helpful giving Jayden something tasty and nutritious to enjoy at daycare. But it was more than the food; it was the little things like the friendly people who kept us going.”
Justin admits that it’s still tough, but he is making ends meet. He delivers pizza on the weekends for extra income.
“God bless the Food Bank and everyone who donates. Merry Christmas Kelowna.”
Over $200,000 has been donated through the Cast-A-Light campaign since its inception in 2007, and this year the Kelowna Community Food Bank hopes to raise $50,000.
The Food Bank’s Sponsor-a-Family Program is a special way for people to bring joy to others at Christmas. Our sponsors are matched with deserving families and provided with their personalized “wish list.” Sponsors present their gifts in person at the food bank, making many happy Christmas memories for all.
Here is one from last year…
“As a family we exchange presents every year, one day we discussed how we were spending money on each other for gifts that we really didn’t need. As parents and grandparents we decided to give to children who did not have the opportunity to receive gifts at Christmas.
Thus we became a participant in Sponsor-A-Family.
We were quite excited making every shopping trip a visual experience, picturing how the kids and their parents would react on Christmas morning. It was so much fun shopping for our children, buying toys and clothes, so much so that we had to restrain ourselves from going overboard! We were also privileged to supply the family with the best Christmas dinner we thought possible with extra treats like chocolate milk and special delights that children only dream of.
We couldn’t wait to meet our family. Their response, especially from the children who were just ecstatic, was one of total thankfulness, so much so that we felt the gift was given to us, as our hearts swelled and warm loving feelings enveloped us.
Just imagine the giggles and laughter when the children opened their stockings loaded with candy, toys and colouring books! Imagine their smiling faces as they unwrapped presents with toys and clothes in them.
I mentioned to my siblings that if every family in Kelowna who were in a position to buy what they needed when they wanted, sponsored a family with the money they would spend on things they really didn’t need or ever use, there would not be a child in Kelowna that would not have a wonderful, memorable Christmas, and a lot of people full of the love you receive from giving to others.
I would recommend the food bank’s Sponsor-A-Family program to anyone who would like to feel true happiness and joy.
I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. May your hearts be full of joy and happiness.
God Bless You All!”
Bev W –Kelowna
Last year, with your generosity we were able to make the Christmas holiday special for 55 vulnerable families in our community. Please Cast-A-Light today and help us help others at Christmas.
A woman says thank you to the Kelowna Community Food Bank for their great help and support.
At Jodi Quibell's garage sale people don't bring money, they bring food.
"Knowing there are children who are not given enough to eat in our community hurts my heart. Because of this, in December 2012, I decided to take action and started Food for Gifts. My sister-in-law was my inspiration, as she organizes a ‘Christmas Store’ in Cherryville, BC. Children from the local elementary school are invited to come and ‘shop’ for gifts for their families, using Food Bank donations as currency," says Quibell.
She took the idea and created her own version.
"I opened up my garage, put up some shelves and tables, and took in donations of gently used items, which people could ‘purchase’ using Food Bank donations as currency.
With my two young sons as helpers, to date we’ve raised approximately 753 items for the Food Bank and $147 in cash and gift cards! We are proof that it doesn’t require money to help others – all you need is your time!"
It’s easy to miss Terry; she stands less than 5 feet tall. She lives alone in her tiny apartment near Pandosy Street.
Terry visits the food bank once a month, she has no choice. Her rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia prevent her from working. Her $900 disability pension leaves very little money for food once her rent and utilities are paid.
The first thing you discover about Terry when you meet her is her positive outlook and compassion. She hopes to be able to work and support herself again one day.
Terry is one of our Special Needs clients receiving an assortment of immune boosting and hypo-allergenic foods.
For Terry, the food bank is about much more than food, it’s about people caring for others. She knows firsthand how easy it is for people to miss the need around them.
Terry hopes her story will cast light on the reasons behind hunger. One day, she hopes to return some of what she has been given to others.
Please give to the food bank and Cast-A-Light for Terry today.
There are many reasons to volunteer at the Kelowna Food Bank. Some people enjoy giving back to our community, while others volunteer to learn new skills and gain work experience.
Kim is here twice a week, on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. He is one of our long serving volunteers, busy with a smile and a friendly word for everyone.
He came to us seven years ago, a client of TIER Support Services. TIER provides support and employment programs for people with development disabilities. Together, we help people overcome employment barriers. Kim lives with his family in Kelowna, a short bus ride from the Food Bank. For him, working here is no different than having a job.
Kim works independently, sweeping, mopping and cleaning kitchen counters. He enjoys the routine, knows what to do and how to do it well. We never have to check his work. Kim is an important member of our volunteer family. He is one of over 100 individuals who participate in our Care to Share Volunteer Program, helping with our daily operations. We could not do the work we do without dedicated people like Kim.
He has never missed a shift in seven years. Last May, Kim received the “Volunteer of the Month” award for his hard work and service. We are all very proud of his achievement.
Kim is a special person.
Please help us help people like Kim. Your donation sustains our volunteer program giving special people like him the opportunity to contribute and to prove himself.
The number of Canadians turning to food banks for help is still at record highs, according to Food Banks Canada’s annual national study released today.
HungerCount 2013 reports that in a typical month, food banks in Canada provide food to more than three quarters of a million separate individuals - 833,000 people – and nearly 4 in 10 of those helped are children. This is a decrease of 4% from 2012 but remains 20% higher than pre-recessionary levels.
HungerCount was initiated in 1989, and is the only annual national research study of food banks and other food programs in Canada. Since 1997, data for the study have been collected every March. The information provided by the survey is invaluable, forming the basis of many Food Banks Canada activities throughout the year.
For a full copy of the HungerCount 2013 report, visit www.foodbankscanada.ca.
In British Columbia, 94,002 individuals visited one of 92 local food banks, a 1% drop year over year but up 20.4% from 2008. Twenty-nine percent of food bank users in BC are children.
“Nearly half of Canada’s food banks report higher numbers in 2013,” says Lenetta Parry, Executive Director at the Kelowna Food Bank. “The data shows that people are struggling despite a stronger economy."
Parry says although people come to the food bank for many reasons, the loss of a job, family breakup, sudden health problems, the key factor at the root of the need is low-income. The cost of living is rising and the people needing help are:
The Kelowna Food Bank is one of the largest food banks in British Columbia:
Primary Sources of client income:
Food banks were established in response to the severe recession of the early 1980s.
“Thirty years later we continue to meet the short-term need for food while working towards long-term solutions to hunger,” says Parry. “We have improved the overall nutritional quality of our hampers and created programs for children and those with special needs. We have added educational and employment programming to help people to help themselves.”
With Christmas fast approaching, Parry says the Food Bank staff and volunteers are bracing for a surge in clients. “As we head into a cold and often difficult time of the year, typically we see numbers increase.”
The Kelowna Food Bank, located at 1265 Ellis Street and is open for donations Monday to Friday 8 AM to 4 PM. Donations can also be made securely online at www.kelownafoodbank.com.
Christmas is a magical time of year; sadly not everyone shares in the full joy of the season.
Every December, we team up with the Food Bank to brighten lives in our community at Christmas and throughout the year.
Beginning November 25th, Cast- A-Light, our annual online campaign features inspiring stories of hope, wholeness and community spirit from Food Bank clients, donors and volunteers. We have set a goal to raise $50,000 for food bank programs.
Hunger can happen to anyone. We share some of the reasons behind the need and how lives are improved.
We hope that you will be inspired to cast a light of your own. Your donation will help vulnerable children and families in Kelowna.
Did you know?
You can remain anonymous or to be recognized as a Cast-A-Light star.
This Christmas, 1,200 households will register for a Christmas hamper. Let’s make a magical Christmas for all!
Please give to the Cast-A-Light campaign today.