December 16, 2015 - 11:45 AM
KAMLOOPS - Generous donations and deliveries have helped local food banks this year, but according to the president of the Kamloops District Labour Council there needs to be a shift in government to meet the increasing needs of British Columbians accessing the food bank.
The council participated in the Protein for People program, a non-profit started by labour organizations in 2006. The program sources quality protein from unionized food producers and purchases in volume to feed thousands.
Canned salmon deliveries to food banks in and near Kamloops have doubled thanks to the council and affiliates. Food banks in Kamloops, Merritt, Chase, Barriere and Clearwater will receive a record number of 144 cases of salmon this year, which will help provide foods rich in protein and are the most expensive for food banks to keep stocked.
Protein for People highlights the importance of feeding children in poverty and dovetails well with Basics for Babies, an event held earlier this year.
“With so many children living in poverty in our province, one in five to be exact, we want to ensure their immediate needs for developmental nourishment is addressed,” Barb Nederpel, president of the council, says.
MLAs Todd Stone and Terry Lake attended the announcement and donated a $130,000 cheque to the Kamloops Food Bank as well.
"These are vital sources of income for the food bank and it is apparent that the MLAs feel altruist pride in their participation,” Nederpel says. “But we desperately need our government to take action to address the root causes of poverty, not just apply woefully inadequate bandaids. For the last 13 years, B.C. has continued to have one of the highest poverty rates in the country. And still, it is the only province without a poverty reduction plan.”
Last year nearly 100,000 B.C. residents accessed the food banks, which was the highest number in the province’s history. Most households accessing the bank are one-parent families where the mother or father works full-time.
“People are falling further behind when their income does not keep up with the cost of living,” Nederpel says. “Instead of photo ops, let’s see some legislative action by our MLAs to eliminate the pressure on food banks and improve the lives of British Columbians.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015