The Golden Food Bank will be hosting its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, April 19th. The meeting will take place from 5:30-7:30 pm and is an opportunity for anyone—board members or any member of the community— to find out what the not-for-profit organization has been doing in the past year.
Debra Aumond, Golden Food Bank Co-ordinator, explained that the AGM will consist of a year end summary and an opportunity to highlight successful programs in the past year, like the food drive and the Ruth Wixon Memorial Community Garden.
“We received a remarkable amount of pounds from the community garden this year,” explained Aumond.
The board of directors is also looking for new members, specifically a treasurer and chair- person in training. The food bank has about 17 regular volunteers per month who do everything from preparing and distributing hampers, gleaning, fundraising to unloading and unpacking food. The organization is always looking for new volunteers.
Upcoming projects for the food bank include the annual food drive in June (which coincides with National Hunger Awareness Day), a community business food challenge and finding more sustainable funding.
“This is a major hurdle for us,” said Aumond, referring to finding funding. Neither the provincial or federal governments give money to food banks, so applying to grants, fundraising and community donations makes up a large part of the organization’s budget.
“We’re trying to come up with a strategy to attain self-sustainability and financial security,” said Aumond.
The Golden Food Bank saw an 11.7 per cent increase in demand for their services in the past year. This statistic, according to food bank chairperson Lisa Reinders, is a significant leap, but not surprising considering rising living costs.
Food bank users receive one hamper a month, which lasts for about five to seven days. Last year the organization saw 3,700 people from the community using the service. 1, 187 of these were children.
Both Reinders and Aumond want to stress that the people who use the food bank are very much in need of the service. The highest users are families with working parents, followed by people on disability social assistance, people receiving unemployment insurance and finally seniors.
One of the most significant reasons people use the food bank, explained Reinders, is an ability to meet the cost of living.
The Golden Food Bank would like to thank everyone in the community in the past year who have donated their time, food and money to help fill a need in the community. For more information about the food bank or the upcoming annual general meeting, please contact the Golden Food Bank at 250-344-2113.