Penny Church

Banking on a little help

Sometimes those who give back to the community need a hand, too

Penny Church is a regular food bank user.

“It’s always helpful. There are times when it’s critical,” she said.

The 62-year-old Brentwood Bay woman isn’t what some might picture as the person who needs help filling the cupboards. She’s regular volunteer at Beacon Community Services thrift store in her community, where they’re able to work around her special circumstances.

As a parent, Church worked herself tired, taking on as many jobs as necessary to make sure her three children and one foster daughter were well cared for. A single parent, she worked in tourism, restaurants and management.

“I stretched a dime into a dollar many times,” she said. “I didn’t think about me until it was too late.”

As children left the nest and Church anticipated taking her skills and travelling for work, she was struck down. An inflammation disorder took more than her mobility – it damaged her pride.

“It was hard,” she said of that first visit to the food bank years ago. “You’ve always been independent and survived single-parenthood and all of a sudden you’re basically crippled.”

She’s among the 400 or so people who get a little extra at Christmas through the Sidney Lions Hamper Program. The Sidney Lions Club manages the program and the food bank to feed those in need across the Peninsula.

“The little piece of cheese we get every month is such a treat and it’s nice to get the dozen eggs, because those are two expensive things that you might not buy,” she says.

But Church is always looking forward. Three years ago she got what was to be the solution to her disability: knee replacement. Though it’s not “mind-numbing pain” there is still pain. With the high cost of living here, she sees a move to Nova Scotia as her solution.

“It seems the most achievable.”

reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

 

You can help

• Donate to the Sidney Lions Food Bank at the Christmas Hamper Depot, 2388 Beacon Ave.

• The Peninsula News Review is also accepting non-perishable food donations at 9843 Second St.

Just Posted

New Coast Guard ship crashes into Ogden Point breakwater

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

Sidney group offers free, fun ‘trishaw’ bike rides to seniors

Physical disability and mental obstruction no barrier to trips around town

Student Voice: Vic astronomer tracking the New Horizons path

Local astronomer part of team studying New Horizons spacecraft

Second non-stop flight added between Prince George and Victoria

Starting June 23 flyers will have the choice of flying in the morning or afternoon

The shores will not rock in 2019

Atomique Productions announce Rock the Shores festival will not return in 2019, future is uncertain

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Most Read