About eight years ago, according to Lynn Nash of the Campbell River & District Food Bank Society, the Food Bank’s funding from gaming revenue was slashed by 50 per cent, they’ve been struggling to keep their heads above water ever since, and have done so by depleting their “rainy day” savings and cutting staff, rather than lowering the nutritional value of their offerings.
But now even nutrition is being affected, according to Nash.
“We feed about 2,000 folks per month,” Nash said, “and so we’ve had to reduce the protein value of our packages (mostly dairy, meat and eggs) at this point. We’ve already laid off one employee, and only have about one and a half months’ operating funds left.”
Nash said that it’s not that they’re running out of food, but the cost of storing and distributing that food is rising, and their revenues are going in the opposite direction.
“Citizens, schools, churches, clubs, service organizations and businesses have all been very generous in supplying foodstuffs, and our grocery stores have both donated food and given us ‘at cost’ pricing for other essential food supplies,” he said, “but we have increasingly escalating administrative costs.”
These costs include a Hydro bill for running an operation with 17 freezers, phone bills, natural gas, a mortgage, insurance, and so on.
Nash said the Food Bank has set up accounts at all the local banks and credit unions where members of the public can either make one-time donations or set up a regular donation that comes straight out of an account (much like a regular bill payment).
Nash and the Food Bank Society is hoping that the community will pull together and help them pay their bills while they await word on whether their funding increase from the Gaming Commission goes through, which will be decided in November.
To find out how you can help, head over to the Food Bank at 1393 Marwalk Cresc. in Campbellton, call 250-286-3296 or ask at your bank.