In the middle of the Second World War, Winston Churchill remarked, “There is no finer investment for any community than putting milk into babies.” I think we would all agree today that children must be fed, that we should not have hungry children in our communities in 21st Century Canada.
Unfortunately, food banks, which were first established 30 years ago as a short-term solution to addressing hunger, serve a huge number of children – one in every three users is a child. Even before COVID19, food bank use was unacceptably high across Canada, and since this crisis began, we have seen a tremendous surge in demand at all local food banks.
The Federal government has pledged $100 million to food banks across Canada and our BC Provincial government has also pledged $3 million from the Community Gaming Grant’s budget. This is needed but it is not enough. It will take time for the federal and provincial funds to find their way to the municipalities so at the SLRD, we have initiated a regional fundraising drive.
We are calling our project “Feed the Need” and we are pleased that all of our municipalities have joined together in this initiative. We know that within our regional district there are people who are feeling desperate, people who just don’t know how they are going to keep their families properly fed. We believe that in our region, there are those among us who are able to offer assistance.
We invite you to think of all 42,665 residents of the Squamish Lillooet Regional District as your neighbours. We invite you to go to the website of Sea to Sky Community Services and make a donation for the purchase of food that will be shared with your neighbours who are hungry.
We want to assure you that by donating locally you are spending your money in local farms and businesses. There is no overhead charge - the small administrative costs involved will be covered by the SLRD - so 100% of your donation will be used on food purchases.
I worked with the Surrey Food Bank for over 10 years. I know from that experience that no-one ever wants to go to a food bank. It is a last resort and it is an assault on one’s dignity. Please find a way to help those who have reached the point at which the food bank is their only option.
It is easy to donate. Go to www.sscs.ca/FEED-THE-NEED/ and select the food bank you wish to support, or opt for the regional option and we’ll see that the funds get to where they are most needed. We’ll also continue to share this important message on our website and Facebook page, so follow us @TheSLRD and visit us at www.slrd.bc.ca
From the Board and staff of the SLRD and from the Mayors and councils of our municipalities, thank you for considering this appeal.
Chair, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District