New location Open We are in our new location with partners Viking/Beaver FCSS and Beaver Emergency Services. Help us fill the New Shelves - we didn't want to move lots of food so haven't been asking for much. However, now we need to Fill the New Shelves. Donation boxes all over town and town wide drive on Friday April 20.
Thank You to Viking School This school year, not only did the school continue to collect food on the fourth Tuesday of each week, they also did a big push among secondary students this June. Their donations went a long way in helping keeping the food bank stocked this spring! Thank you to Miss Zuk for organizing.
Very Busy Beginning to 2017 We did 62 hampers in the first third of the year. This is more than annual average during our first ten years of operation. This compares with 45 hampers in the first third of 2016 and 29 hampers in the first third of 2015. The massive increase in use continues to grow. Please support the Viking and Holden Area Food Bank so that we can continue to help your neighbours.
Massive Donation From Viking AG Foods Both of our local grocery stores have been very generous over the years with us. On March 27 Viking AG Foods gave a donation of $6916 worth of Our Compliments brands foods and products. Thank you to them for their great generosity.
Food Bank Usage Seven times higher in 2016 then 2013
Year highlights: -We gave out 171 hampers compared with 126 in 2015.In last four years the Food Bank has gotten 7 times busier (we gave out 23 hampers in 2013).
-In total, 64 individuals or families applies for at least one hamper this year.People can receive up to four hampers a year unless there are exceptional circumstances.170 people lived in the homes that received at least one hamper.34% of those were children.That percent has remained somewhat constant year to year.3% were seniors, that is a considerable drop from previous years.
-57% of hampers go to Viking, 31% to Holden. 6% to Kinsella and 5% to Bruce.
-Number one stated reason by clients for food bank use – moving expenses, second was a tie between unexpected expenses and lack of work, followed by injury or illness and high cost of living.
-We saw a substantial increase in the number of volunteers. We have gone from one volunteer on each week to make and distribute hamper to three volunteers per week.
-The Food bank is actively looking for a new location. Our present home in the United Church is too small and is not a good place to store fresh foods.They have been a great host for fourteen years but there is the need for more space and the need to be able to take more garden produce.
-With the dramatic increase of use, there has been a corresponding increase of food and monetary donations.Viking has stepped up in a big way to help. -“As the provincial economy has suffered, many people have been looking for an inexpensive place to live.Eastern Beaver County has become a temporary or permanent landing spot for many.Some show up with great needs and few resources to help with those needs.That compounded with local unemploymenthas led to a sharp increase in food bank use.When this level of need shows up on our doorstep, we need to find some way to show neighbourly kindness.The food bank is one aspect in caring for our community.” – Darren Anderson, Viking Food Bank spokesperson.
To receive a food bank hamper, you must be a resident of the area from Holden east to county boundaries and not received a hamper in the previous three months. The food bank is open on Wednesday mornings and can only be accessed by appointment. Those in need are asked to call Viking Beaver FCSS by Tuesday noon. Anyone requesting a hamper is asked a series of questions to determine their needs, their eligibility for a hamper and to help determine why they are in need.
The Viking and Holden Area Food Bank is a cooperative effort between the churches of Viking and the Viking Beaver FCSS office. Further information about the food bank is available at the Viking and Holden Area Food Bank’s website www.vhfoodbank.com, from any of our local churches, and at the Viking Beaver FCSS.