Food bank campaign raises awareness on hunger issues

It's no surprise Hunger Awareness Day represents a busy time for the Food Bank Society of Whitehorse. Only 90 minutes into its first distribution day of the month, about 30 hampers were handed out.

It’s no surprise Hunger Awareness Day represents a busy time for the Food Bank Society of Whitehorse.

Only 90 minutes into its first distribution day of the month, about 30 hampers were handed out. June 1 was the busiest day volunteers will see in a while because users can only pick up one hamper per month and they usually stop by on the first day, said Tiffanie Tasane, the food bank’s on-call manager.

Hunger Awareness Day, which took place Tuesday, is a reminder about how many people are in need of food banks across the country.

“It’s a campaign to raise awareness about Canadians and the need for food security,” Tasane said.

Last year, 800,000 people in Canada were assisted by these resources, an 18 per cent increase from the previous year, according to the event’s website. This is the biggest year-to-year increase on record.

In May, the Whitehorse food bank gave out 465 hampers, serving 1,018 of their 2,300 users. Many of the clients are “not necessarily the demographic that we think it is who use these food banks,” said Tasane.

Although there are many homeless people who take advantage of the food bank, it also serves seniors on fixed incomes, students, families and people who come to Whitehorse seasonally, but have not yet found work or accommodations.

“We were running low and we normally have a lot of support when we don’t have money,” said Tiffany Hall who is living at a campground with her boyfriend. They picked up food for themselves as well as Hall’s unborn baby.

“We actually got a lot more than we thought we were getting,” she added.

Although it was their first day at the food bank, others are frequent users.

After being evacuated from his hotel when it reopened for tourists, Cody Kelly comes often.

“I get some food in my stomach and I’m proud and happy of that,” Kelly said.

Tuesday’s event also promoted ways the public can help with Whitehorse’s hunger problem.

The food bank recently began the Plant a Row, Grow a Row project that encourages gardeners to sow some extra seeds or donate some crops. Though it’s early in the season, some gardeners have already expressed interest, said Tasane.

Volunteering is also another way the organization hopes to get people involved.

It is already completely volunteer-run, except for the executive director position.

“It’s a pretty amazing operation to be a total volunteer organization,” said Tasane.

Many volunteers see the Whitehorse food bank as a way to get involved in the community.

“You’re helping people that you pass on the street, you’re helping young people,” said Jessica Steinbach, who had her first day of volunteering June 1. “I wanted to get involved with volunteering and I’m also a firm believer in not just existing in the world but also giving back.”

Contact Larissa Robyn Johnston at

larissaj@yukon-news.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: Whitehorse resident turns 100

Olive Patton celebrated earlier this month

Hospital cancels Whitehorse woman’s surgery 45 minutes beforehand

Patricia Nowell-Lindquist had changed into a gown and was fully prepped when she was told the news

UPDATED: Cross Country Yukon starts GoFundMe campaign for stolen pump

The theft means snowmaking is on hold until a replacement is found

Rams, Crusaders continue Super Volley winning streaks

Vanier secures first overall in boys standings

Commentary: Does Yukon need a United Way?

“The reason we ask is that we may not be sustainable”

Whitehorse FC sides impress at B.C. tournaments

Four teams, four tournaments, only one loss

Yukon soccer teams represent at Canada Soccer National Championships U15 Cup

“Everybody brought their game to a totally new level and set a (new) bar”

Yukonomist: The greying of the Yukon

It’s the kind of thing you might see in a society that suffered a major war twenty years ago

History Hunter: New book honours fallen Yukoners of World War I

The book introduces the story of Yukon’s wartime involvement and describes heroic contributions

U Kon Echelon holds weekend mountain bike racing camp in Whitehorse

“It’s incredible the changes I’m seeing from when we started in September to now”

Liberals to scope out ‘efficiencies’ in departments

The premier was asked about ostensible reductions to department budgets at question period

You and your new car warranty

There are some things that may put your new vehicle or extended warranty at risk

Most Read