FOOD BANK VOLUNTEERS                                Stacy Mendes, left, Barry Smith and Ingrid Wuensche of the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre sort food at the centre. Over the past 12 months, 536 people from 266 households received assistance from the facility.                                (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

FOOD BANK VOLUNTEERS Stacy Mendes, left, Barry Smith and Ingrid Wuensche of the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre sort food at the centre. Over the past 12 months, 536 people from 266 households received assistance from the facility. (John Arendt/Summerland Review)

Summerland Food Bank assisted 536 people over past 12 months

147 children included among those who received assistance

Volunteers at the Summerland Food Bank and Resource Centre are busy providing food to people in need within the community.

John Bubb, president of the food bank, said during the past 12 months, a total of 536 people in Summerland, including 147 children, received food from the food bank at least once.

This works out to roughly one in 22 people living in the community.

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He added that there is a need for food and cash donations at the food bank, especially at this time of year as some families in the community are struggling with winter and holiday expenses.

There were 266 households who used the food bank over the past 12 months, including 72 single-parent families, 31 two-parent families, 43 couples without children and 120 single people.

This year, 79 households were receiving assistance from the centre for the first time.

Of those receiving assistance from the food bank, 67 listed employment as their primary income source.

“The cost of living is higher than people on low incomes can afford,” Bubb said.

In addition, 81 were on provincial disability support, 47 were on social assistance and 30 were on pension.

While there were 2,990 visits to the food bank to pick up food, the centre also received 306 visits from people needing the laundry facilities and 632 from those requesting a shower.

The centre has 73 volunteers, who contributed a total of 1,686 hours over the past 12 months.

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