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Vernon soup kitchen sees record-breaking use of services

As the number of hungry people in Vernon continues to grow, the Upper Room Mission has, possibly for the first time ever, added a highchair to its dining room.
Image Credit: Lisa Anderson
July 03, 2015 - 10:45 AM

VERNON - A Vernon soup kitchen says it has a record number of mouths to feed, in part due to a dramatic increase in the number of families with children in need of a meal.

Last year at this time, the Upper Room Mission was serving roughly 250 meals a day. That number has now grown to over 300, communications director Lisa Anderson says in a media release.

“For the first time in a very long time, perhaps ever, there is a highchair amongst the seats in our dining room,” Anderson says. “What I have noticed the most, is the number of children coming in with their parents at meal times, and now that school is out for the summer, those numbers have, and continue, to grow.”

If the trend continues, the mission could be serving an additional 13,100 meals over the course of the year, and that’s putting a strain on resources. The soup kitchen is a non-profit organization and relies heavily on donations. With the cost of living on the rise, Anderson says the mission is noticing two things: more clients, and fewer donations.

“(With) increased rent, groceries, and the overall cost of living on the rise, donations are down. As well, with the number of wage earners per household continuously expanding, we have also lost volunteers,” Anderson says. “We are asking for the public’s help at this time.”

The mission appreciates any and all donations, but can do the most with cash donations. Because the organization has corporate sponsors, it can purchase the food it needs at wholesale prices, stretching every dollar donated into three.

If you wish to make a food donation, the items most needed right now are meat proteins, potatoes, and fresh vegetables. The mission also has meal sponsorship opportunities, in which businesses or groups may use the kitchen space, provide the meal and serve it to the guests.

“I realize that many of us are stretched to the limit right now, but if people could find it in their heart to give, even just a little, it really can make a difference,” Anderson says. “The gift of monetary donations, food, or simply just your time, goes such a long way in the lives of people who need it the most.”

Read previous stories about the Upper Room Mission here.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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