December 24th, 2012 by Lauren Sanders
Christmas at Clio is spirited and celebratory. Decorations deck the halls, egg nog flows and gifts are exchanged. However, during these times of merriment it is important to recognize the needs of others in our community.
Across the globe, hunger persists as one of the most pressing issues. Canada is no exception. The first Canadian food bank opened its doors in 1981 in Edmonton. Although it was intended to provide temporary assistance, the need for food banks grew and spread nationally. Currently, more than 800 food banks and 3000 food programs support communities across the country. Many food banks have even expanded their services. This may include providing assistance to those in need of affordable housing and childcare, operating snack programs or even organizing community gardens. Additionally, the majority of food banks depend heavily upon or are run solely by teams of committed volunteers.
In 2012, food banks across Canada helped more than 880,000 people each month and the number is rising each year. Most troubling is that 29.5% of the people who accessed food banks in British Columbia are children. There is no standard profile for those who access food banks. It is a place where everyone can seek assistance. It is clear that food banks continue to play an essential role in communities across the country.
At Clio, we recognize our good fortune and are thankful for all we have. This year, the staff has donated a variety of much-needed foodstuffs and household items to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Canned meats, whole grain pasta and baby formula are just some of this year’s contributions. Staff who did not bring in items instead could choose to make a financial contribution. That money will go a long way towards maintaining the food banks reserves year-round. In 2012, 14% of food banks found their stock completely depleted. Because of the special relationship the food bank has with grocery stores, the money raised goes even further as each $1 raised will purchase $3 worth of food.
For more information on how to donate or become involved at your local food bank, please visit foodbankscanada.ca.
Clio is working towards strengthening our ties with the community. Clions are at the center of that effort. We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and festive holiday season!