Costs to provide nutritious meals, and demand for those meals, keeps increasing but donations to the 7-10 Club continue to decline.
“We have to do more fundraising ourselves and look for every little grant and possibility we can get,” said Denis Ostercamp, treasurer for the 7-10 Club. “Our donations are down and we are needing to raise some good dollars to get us through the rest of the year.”
The organization serves a free hot breakfast, homemade soup and a brown bag lunch from 7-10 a.m. from Monday to Friday at its service building located at 285 Prideaux St.
According to 7-10 Club’s website, the club saw an increase of 30 per cent of the number of people using its services between 2010-14. During that time, food costs rose 17.5 per cent and donations made by individuals, comprising of 37 per cent of the organization’s budget, decreased 38 per cent.
Yet the need for meals has risen from about 60,000 to 85,000 per year during that time. Ostercamp said the organization still needs to pay rent and retain its staff on top of rising food costs. He said funding from service clubs, businesses and other groups has remained about the same.
To raise money, the 7-10 Club hosts its second annual Run/Walk Out Hunger in Nanaimo on Oct. 11 at Westwood Lake.
“It’s a good time and a good thing they can do before popping the turkey in the oven on Sunday morning,” said Ostercamp. “This is a fun event focused on Thanksgiving when people are focused on feasting and plenty.”
Last year the event raised $4,500 and the 7-10 Club would like to double that this year.
Registration begins at 9 a.m., the run at 10 a.m. and walkers depart at 10:10 a.m. The trail around the lake is about six kilometres.
To register or download pledge forms please go to www.nanaimo710-club.com or for more information, please e-mail email@example.com.