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Not being able to work due to illness or injury is also high on the list of reasons for using the food bank. This could be a short-term injury that has affected ones ability to work, or a long-term one that may mean the person will never be able to return to the same level of employment they may have had in the past.
Now back to my goal of ending hunger in Whistler. What can we do to help those that are still seeking help at the food bank? Each person accessing the WCSS Food Bank receives information about Work BC, the employment resource centre and its services, and many of them seek help there and end up finding employment. For families and individuals that may have more complex or ongoing needs, they are referred to our WCSS outreach workers where they learn about additional services that may assist them. However, some of the programs are over-subscribed, yet sorely needed. Programs like counselling assistance, addictions programs, and social housing.
Employers too have to keep in mind that their hiring practices directly impact the community. Many businesses in the community do a great job at looking after their employees, but there are often steps that can be taken to help a little more.
Individuals can continue to help by caring for your friends and neighbours that you know are struggling, give them some food, lend them a friendly ear to confide in, and let them know about the services in the community that could help. We can all do our part.
Hunger will never be eradicated in Whistler, but we can sure try our best! In the meantime, please help us fill our shelves with food to help those in Whistler that continue to struggle. Donate funds or food, run a food/fund drive, host a Christmas party food drive, or consider donating to other programs in Whistler that can help people change their present situation and depend on emergency services like food banks less.
If you are a business owner, a community group organizer, or a teacher and want to learn more about how you can help end hunger in Whistler I am free to come speak to your group about hunger issues in Whistler and ideas to help. Please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-935-7717.