Overall food bank use in Golden down, but not for certain groups

The food bank’s numbers are down somewhat in 2014 compared to the same time period last year

The Golden Food Bank held its annual general meeting July 9, the first time the facility has held its AGM under the guidance of Stephanie Findlater, who just moved into the general manager position in May.

“I was kind of overwhelmed initially,” Findlater said. “(Former director) Barb Davies did such a great job and those were some big shoes to fill.”

Findlater felt more comfortable in her new position after attending a conference where she was able to meet with other food bank managers, which gave her a nice measure of reassurance.

The food bank’s numbers are down somewhat in 2014 compared to the same time period last year, but statistics are showing that there has been an increase in users in certain demographics.

“Our 55 and up seniors group has gone up 30 per cent,” Findlater said.

Findlater isn’t sure why there has been an increase in usage amongst seniors, but did say that it could simply be due to regular clients entering that age bracket. According to her, however, the number of seniors who are using food banks is up across Canada.

Altogether, the food bank distributed 790 hampers from January to June (down from 906 at the same time last year.)

One of the most positive developments for the food bank over the past year has been the retrieval of meat through a variety of different means.

Illegally hunted game meat has kept the food bank’s freezers well stocked. If that wasn’t enough, the food bank was able to recover a truck full of chickens after an accident on the highway.

“With that, I don’t think I’ve purchased meat since I’ve been the hamper manager,” Findlater said.

Still, the food bank has continued to rely on the generosity of locals in order to keep things running smoothly, and Goldenites came through in a big way during the food bank’s recent food drive.

“We did 1,023 kg total, and that’s about $5,600 worth of food,” Findlater said. “The donations (for last year’s drive) were valued at $1,500, so that’s way less.”