Hunger is a problem in Nelson

May 7 to 11 is Hunger Awareness Week and as these dates approach we consider what this means to us here in Nelson.

May 7 to 11 is Hunger Awareness Week and as these dates approach we consider what this means to us here in Nelson.

For many of us, our thoughts go to those who’ve approached us for spare change. Or maybe your children have come home from school, with stories of Sally, or Joe, who never bring lunch to school, and often fall to sleep in class, or they didn’t get breakfast today. Our insensitive side may say: “Where are those parents, and what have they spent their money on instead of food for their kids?”

Let me take a moment to share a little of what I’ve learned. There is no typical face of the person who might be hungry in our community.  It could be a single mom, who’s trying to make ends meet on a minimum wage salary, or income assistance. She’s struggling with the high cost of housing and utilities, while trying to feed and adequately clothe her children.

Or there is the family where both dad and mom are working to make ends meet, keep food on the table, a roof over their heads, everybody clothed, but their paycheques just don’t stretch far enough.

There are young people who are on their own, going to school and working part time, but there is never enough money to meet their needs, and we’re talking about needs, not wants.

That hungry person could be your neighbour, your workmate, classmate, the senior down the street, even the friend you keep missing for coffee.

So then what does Hunger Awareness mean for a city like Nelson?

The faces of hunger in Nelson, as in all of Canada are varied, and the causes are not always the same. What it comes down to is there is no typical face of hunger.

Poverty can touch anyone, or everyone with little warning. The loss of work, unexpected medical or repair bills, rent or utility increases or a dozen other reasons.

So taking this a step further, is there help for those affected by poverty?

Sure, there is government assistance, and yes that is a help, but it does not entirely meet the needs of the average family. Then there are local resources, food banks, soup kitchens, thrift stores and shelters, support groups and agencies. All of these can be helpful but these facilities rely on you and me for donations of food, money and time to be able to provide that help. Within Nelson we have a few places to go when you find yourself struggling to make ends meet.

Here’s the scoop folks: these services are driven by donations, and largely staffed by volunteers, so without your help there are people that will go hungry in our city. Some of these people are children and seniors, maybe a neighbour or someone that you know.

If you want to make a difference and change that face of poverty, then please remember to pick up a few extra items when you’re grocery shopping and drop them off at a food bank, or make a donation, because the food bank staff have resources that make your dollar go so much farther. And if you’ve got some extra time, or would like to help, give one of these agencies a call and give a little of your time to help your neighbour.

Just Posted

West Kootenay highways a mess as heavy snowfall continues

‘Roads are very icy, people have to be patient and have to slow down’

Nelson to allow marijuana dispensaries to operate into new year

Medical cannabis dispensaries won’t be penalized for operating until their recreational applications are heard

Nelson Curling Club still suffering financially

The club posted a nearly $20,000 loss last year, announced at its AGM on Sunday

Over $25,000 raised for Columbia Basin literacy

Success for 2018 Books for Kids campaign

Nelson Leafs, regional district plan full-time hazardous waste recycling depot

City requires flood-mitigation plan before one-year trial can begin

VIDEO: Monday Roundup

#hotscoops #hotscoops #hotscoops

More B.C. Indigenous students graduating high school: report

70% of Indigenous students graduated, compared to 86% across all B.C. students

2 facing animal cruelty charges after emaciated dog found in B.C.

Amy Hui-Yu Lin and Glenn Mislang have been charged with causing an animal to continue to be in distress

Out of the doghouse: B.C. city lifts ban on pup who barked too much at dog park

Cameron the Shetland sheepdog is allowed back into Uplands off-leash dog park under some conditions.

No flood of extremist returnees to Canada expected, federal report says

The report says some 190 people with connections to Canada are suspected of terrorist activity abroad

Canada-China relations turn icy over arrest of Chinese exec

The Huawei case has threatened to complicate U.S.-China efforts to resolve a bitter trade dispute.

Prosecutor signs off on former B.C. Liberal government’s quick-wins probe

David Butcher said in a statement released Monday that the RCMP recommended charges under the Elections Act

Canadian physicist who won Nobel Prize touts science for the sake of science

Donna Strickland, 59, said securing the field’s highest honour has given her a significant new platform

Cranbrook planning X-Games style winter festival

Events to include snowmobilers, snowboarders and bands peforming downtown on Feb. 16, 2019

Most Read