Going without the essentials — breakfast, lunch, and dinner is never easy! Families, in need, turn to local food banks all year long — hunger and poverty do not know it is Easter, Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Especially in today’s society, young and old depend on local food banks and other assistance to live day to day and month to month. Some barely live pay cheque to pay cheque or attend post-secondary school and need a helping hand to exist. Food banks are an essential service and should be thought about 365 days a year — because those needing food banks most think about what a food bank offers 24/7 — hope.
Each year, near the holidays — companies, organizations, and individuals — turn their charitable attention to those in need. Those in need are not just the homeless or unemployed, they are your family and/or friends, they are your neighbour, they are the parents or single parent that works full-time or event two jobs to make ends meet, they are students trying to obtain an education, they are the seniors on social assistance with very little for the essentials after paying for prescription medications to live — it may even be you.
Situations in life change and sometimes you may have it all and are living comfortably — but, it could all come crashing down in a second. That is reality. One day you have two incomes coming in and own your house and have a nice car and the other luxuries — the next day, you may only have one income coming in and can no longer afford the mortgage, or car payment or pay the bills — let alone buy the food necessary for the family to live for the next day or week. This is a sad tale, but happens each and every day in Canada and locally.
It is amazing food banks, along with the donations from companies, organizations, and individuals exist in small towns and urban centres and they try to give those in need a “nice” Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter with a turkey or ham and all the fixings. And it is no doubt appreciated by those receiving these special little treats. But, it’s the days that are not holidays that continue after a holiday is long gone. Those in need — need, on regular days and/or on weekends. Please take time to remember this.
Maybe, the greatest gift to give someone in need this Christmas is a food basket in January, as well as a special Christmas food basket to brighten up someone’s day. Or volunteer during the Christmas holidays and then again in the New Year. A local food bank can be someone in need’s greatest gift, which is why Canadians (who can) could perhaps help keep food banks full all year long. Thank you to those who donate to food banks and thank you to all the food bank volunteers — you seriously are making a big difference in the lives of those in need, even if the need is only temporary. Keep up the great work southern Albertans — your giving spirit is appreciated.