EDITORIAL: Food bank aid must continue

NANAIMO: Crisis not over for Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank.

The Nanaimo Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints proved it takes a community to feed a community with its efforts during the B.C. Thanksgiving Food Drive.

The church helped organize hundreds of its own volunteers, other Nanaimo residents and Island businesses in a campaign to help fill the shelves at Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank.

From distributing donated paper grocery bags to 10,000 homes around the city and collecting them filled with non-perishable items a week later, to sorting the food and delivering it to Loaves and Fishes, the campaign ran like a well-oiled machine.

The effort paid off with 12,700 kilograms of food now filling the food bank’s warehouse. That number proves residents are willing to give generously, but it takes some organization.

The food bank makes it as easy as possible for individuals to give with drop off locations throughout the city and grocery stores often have complete meal packages available for purchase. All it takes is a little effort to help someone in need.

Yet, it doesn’t always happen that way.

This summer was a prime example of how the food bank and its clients suffered from a lack of donations.

Although $68,000 of donated food has filled the shelves of the food bank, don’t for a second think the crisis is over.

Loaves and Fishes goes through $40,000 worth of food every month, so all the drive has done is create a much-appreciated buffer to get through until Christmas when people’s minds once again turn to giving to the less fortunate.

The community needs to continue giving, but now it’s up to individuals to come through.

Efforts like the one by the Latter Day Saints take months to prepare and the food bank hasn’t got that much time.