Elmira Independent Editorial
It seems to happen every year.
When the summer sunshine comes, it becomes just a little bit easier to forget about those in need.
We are away at the cottage, or visiting with family and friends, or having that backyard barbecue. It’s hard to remember places like the Elmira food bank.
The food bank has already exhausted most of the items that have come in during the spring food drive in May.
The shelves are pretty much empty. Last week, if a food bank patron wanted tuna, canned fruit or jam, or cereal other than Cheerios, he or she would have been out of luck.
It’s a similar tale for the toiletries that are often handed out to those in need. Shampoo, deodorant and feminine hygiene supplies were nearly non-existent.
And yet, the need has not gone down. In the month of June, Woolwich Community Services handed out 65 food hampers, providing help to 188 residents in need.
As of press time, 61 hampers had been handed out in July, with several days to go.
Hampers provide enough food for three to five days, and are only provided once a month. For families living on social assistance, or are waiting for their first payment from Employment Insurance, support from the food bank is the bare minimum to keep afloat.
It’s also a very tough thing for individuals to come to the food bank — they don’t come and ask for help unless they absolutely need it.
And, when the shelves are empty, food bank patrons are starting to second guess their needs, worrying that someone else will go without if they take the last jar of peanut butter.
It’s time for the rest of Elmira to do more.
While we are picking up our groceries for our next campout or backyard barbecue, add a few items to your grocery list.
The food bank could use a little bit of everything — canned meat, fruit, jam, cereal, lunch snacks for fall, along with personal toiletries.
Donations will be accepted at Woolwich Community Services, local grocery stores, and at the movie night planned by the Elmira BIA as part of Sidewalk Sale.
While our summer schedules can excuse us, a bit, from remembering those in need, it is now time to do our part, and help the vulnerable among us.
If everyone who can lends a hand, we are certain this need will be met.
This is, after all, Elmira. We know how to give, and we know how to help. Let’s take the time to do both.