OUR VIEW: Food for thought

Food banks have become a staple within our society and they continue to need and deserve our support.

Food banks have become a staple within our society and they continue to need and deserve our support.

Every once in a while, we hear some people lament the need for food banks — talking about how they are meant to be stop gaps and should not have to exist in this day and age.

Yet, a recent report on food bank use in B.C. has stated more and more people need their services.

Here on the Saanich Peninsula, the Sidney Lions Food Bank reaches approximately 1,000 people each month. Those numbers have leveled off over last year, according to food bank Executive Director Bev Elder, but that doesn’t mean the need has just gone away.

Because there’s mobility in the region, she says people in need of food bank services may simply have changed locations and are counted among the users of other food banks, like Victoria’s Mustard Seed.

In times of economic boom or bust, there will always be a need for food banks to help families and individuals make ends meet. Users might not be constant users, but people who find themselves in a position none of us would hope to see — out of a job or injured in some way and facing too many bills. Food banks can help provide just enough groceries and other items to get some people past that bump in the road.

Certainly, no one wants to see food banks used as a crutch. But because people can find themselves in dire straits, their services will always be required.

On the Peninsula, the food bank received a lot of support and has a dedicated collection of community volunteers to help make it go.

They still need the support of individuals in our communities to ensure their shelves are stocked — not only during the giving season, but throughout the year.

Saanich Peninsula firefighters have come together to collect food and cash donations and they are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the community’s generosity.

Hopefully, by following their example, we can help ensure our neighbours don’t have to go wanting throughout the year.