Stocks sink at Food Bank

Norm Biddlecombe (right) hands over a cheque for $1,500 to Major Rolf Guenther atop empty pallets at the Salvation Army Food Bank.  - Neil Horner photo
Norm Biddlecombe (right) hands over a cheque for $1,500 to Major Rolf Guenther atop empty pallets at the Salvation Army Food Bank.
— image credit: Neil Horner photo

For some people in Oceanside, going to the Salvation Army Food Bank once a month means the difference between scraping by with at least a modicum of comfort or having a tough and hungry time of it.

For others however, it can mean the difference between being able to pay the rent or being out on the street.

That was one of the findings from a survey done this month at the Food Bank, when clients were asked to voluntarily fill out a response form when they picked up their hampers.

The survey, said Major Rolf Guenther, showed a high level of satisfaction with the service on a number of levels — but also indicate just how desperate the situation can be for some.

“I couldn’t survive without it,” said one response. “It gives us food when there isn’t enough money to pay rent and buy food,” said another. “I have no source of income at the moment, so it is very helpful,” said a third.

“For some people it’s nice to have but for others it’s really an issue of survival,” Guenther said.

One common theme, Guenther said, involved the need for more fresh fruits and vegetables to be donated.

“Fruit, produce, salad or beans or stuff like that is very much appreciated,” he said. “Some people have already brought in what they have harvested and we give it out to our clients right away. They really appreciate having fresh stuff instead of just cans.”

Whether it be cans or fresh produce however, the stocks at the French Creek warehouse are pretty much the same, said Guenther — low.

“It’s summer and it’s usually a little bit lower,” he said, pointing to empty pallets laid end to end on the floor.

Guenther got a helping hand Tuesday from the Seaside Cruizers Car Club, whose president, Norm Biddlecombe, dropped by to pass over a cheque for $1,500, which was raised through the raffle of a novelty barbecue during the recent Father’s Day car show.

“It comes at a good time,” Guenther said “We have to spend about $4,000 every month for extra food, because every hamper is about one week’s supply for a family, so if you have close to 400 families a month, that’s about 400 weeks of food every month — which is a lot.”



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