Opinion » Editorial


Give us this day our daily bread...



The black reusable shopping bag has been hanging on the back of my office door for a few days now.

Attached to it is a large white sheet imploring me to fill up the bag with pasta, cereal, shampoo, rice, peanut butter and other goods.

And I will, as I always do this week for the food bank drive that has become part of the Crankworx celebration - though in past years I've just given cash.

There is a certain amount of irony in doing this as I wander the village and note the tens of thousands of dollars in mountain bikes and associated equipment rolling through.

Indeed the number of high-end bikes resident to our town is astonishing in some ways. I know there are people living here who scrimp on food to buy "toys."

That's a personal choice and as long as our social services don't end up feeding people who choose to do that I don't have a problem.

We've all chosen crazy priorities at one time or another - and nowhere more than Whistler are stories about these "decisions" more celebrated.

Just recall the number of people who squatted here in the early days to ski and pioneer the development of the area. Money was often cherished for the joy it brought, not the bellies it filled.

I recall signing a lease on an inspiring flat in Hampstead, London, that I just had to live in, in order to be a journalist: it came with a diet of rice, beans and hot-sweet tea.

I survived and loved every minute of it. But it was my choice.

Being hungry is not a choice for millions around the world. Being hungry is not a choice for hundreds in the corridor nor for some right here in Whistler.

In recent weeks Pique has carried a number of stories about the high use of our food bank, which is run by the Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS).

"On our next open day we are likely to surpass our 2010 numbers entirely and that's pretty much what's been happening over the past few years, by summer we are at the numbers we had the year before," Sara Jennings, WCSS food bank coordinator, told Pique recently.

"It's been something that has been really challenging so we've been working with other partners in the community to figure out what is going on and how we can improve the situation for the lower income brackets in Whistler."

May was the food bank's busiest month on record with 434 visits to the trailer at the bottom of Lorimer Road.