My friend Ed Yee, who is Chairperson of SHARE Family Services recently sent out an email, which I want to share with you. All communities have Food Banks or equivalent systems where those who do not have enough food can go for help. I urge you to support your local organization(s) that run the Food Banks. Our neighbours need our help at this time of the year. Those of you who have been reading this blog, know that I was a Director of SHARE Family Services for 6 years and I support their work.
I want to recognize and thank you for the donations you have consistently given to SHARE over the years. We consider you a part of the SHARE family. Your ongoing investment in SHARE helps to make sure that individuals and families in the Tri-Cities receive the services they want and need to participate actively as friends, neighbours and parents in our community.
You may know that the SHARE Food Bank operates entirely because of people like you who want to help those in our community who are hungry. There is no government funding for Food Banks and the stores of food that were donated at Christmas are now nearly gone. We are asking for a gift that will help us ensure there is food in the food bank through to the Fall when summer holidays are over and the normal patterns of giving to the food bank return. I am writing with urgency and hope that you will make another donation today to help provide food to families through the summer months.
The SHARE Food Bank is the registered Food Bank for the Tri-cities communities. In the last fiscal year (2014/15) we served 5284 people. Of those, almost 2000 were children aged 18 and under. That represents 35% of those lining up for food each week. Families arrive at the Food Bank with many different stories. Some have had to swallow their pride after they lose their employment and are just finding a way to feed their family. Others are fighting illness and cannot work. Their meager income can barely cover their medical expenses. Still others are new comers, struggling to find work and overcome the significant barriers of language and a new culture. The stories are as unique as the person who lines up.
I’d like to tell you one of these stories. Melissa is a young woman with 2 children and was pregnant with her third when she fled her abusive relationship. She and her children spent several months in hiding at a women’s shelter until she managed to get into BC Housing. Due to the abuse she suffered during her pregnancy, she was considered a high risk pregnancy and was under constant doctor’s care to monitor the health of her unborn child. She came to the SHARE Food Bank for help. Because she was pregnant, she was able to receive a weekly food hamper as well as the Tiny Bundles items. This fresh produce, milk, eggs and other dairy products helps to ensure that she delivers a healthy baby and that her other children are fed every day too. Melissa’s story is just one of hundreds of compelling and often tragic situations that bring our friends, neighbours and family members to SHARE. With your help, we will be there when we are needed.
Thank you for your support. Thank you for considering another gift and for supporting individuals and families in the Tri-Cities community.
Ed Yee, Chair
SHARE Board of Directors