Jackie Harris (left), of Teen Junction, picks up a salad from Rita Evans, of the Upper Room Mission. The mission prepares meals for Teen Junction. (photo submitted)

Food needs served up

Emergency Food Action Network shares information and identify specific needs around food.

Meeting the emergency food needs of residents is a community effort in Vernon.

The Emergency Food Action Network, which is co-ordinated by the Social Planning Council and hosted by Trinity United Church, brings faith groups and non-profit organizations together twice a year, to share information and identify specific needs around food.

“Talking about needs and opportunities in our community helps get food to where it is needed,” said Annette Sharkey, with the Social Planning Council.

“For example, at the last meeting, the Upper Room Mission shared that they received more meat than they can store. A connection was made with the Boys and Girls Club to use the meat for meals at the Teen Junction Youth Centre. Our community can achieve more by working together.”

Despite the amount of support from the community to feed hungry people, Sharkey says there is the realization that the need is only continuing to grow.

“It’s easy to get caught up in finding and redistributing more and more food, but research shows that only 23 per cent of food insecure people access food banks,” she said.

“As well, the root cause of food insecurity isn’t the price of food itself, it’s poverty. The majority of food insecure households in B.C. are employed (65 per cent), and a minority (15 per cent) are receiving social assistance. The real solutions to hunger and poverty are income based, and allow people the financial means to buy their own food. Consider asking for policy solutions that reduce poverty.”

For more information about EFAN, contact 250-540-8572 or info@socialplanning.ca.

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