While the holiday season is winding down, the need to help others never stops.
At St. Joseph’s Food Bank in Mission, volunteers help to feed people at any time of the year. However, Christmas is particularly busy.
“We get most of our donations by people when they go to buy groceries,” explained John Poston, executive director at St. Joseph’s Food Bank. “They drop off items into the boxes that we provide. I’m finding that the people of Mission are very, very generous.”
He said donations during this holiday season have been comparable to last year, and organizers are pleased with the amount that people are donating.
But after Christmas, things really slow down. Poston said so much food is often donated in December that the extra helps to carry the food bank during the slower period in January.
No matter what month it is, St. Joseph’s is there to help.
“We distribute food twice a month and give out about 300 hampers a month.”
In all, the food bank has about 1,300 registrations for help, and the need continues to grow.
“We register, at least, in the neighbourhood of 20 new families a month.”
But not everybody needs help every month.
While he dislikes the term, Poston said the people the food bank helps are the “working poor.”
“All of the people we help have a residence in Mission. We’re basically helping the residents of Mission who just can’t make it month to month.”
Whether it’s a family where someone has lost a job, or a person on disability, Poston said some people just don’t have the money to meet all of their expenses and put food on the table.
“Some people come every month, some stagger once every two months. Others drop off then come back a year later for help.”
Poston said they will only take a registered person off the list if they haven’t come in for five years.
“Everybody needs help now and then.”
Next week, Arsenault Tree Service will hold a fundraiser for the food bank. People are invited to bring their Christmas trees to be chipped. The cost is by donation with all proceeds going to St. Joseph’s Food Bank.
The event takes place on Saturday, Jan. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church, 32550 7th Ave.