Manitoba

The shelves are bare: Winnipeg church puts out call for food donations

Staff at West Broadway Community Ministry say they're worried they will have to dip into their programming funding to buy food as the shelves at their popular food bank run increasingly bare.

West Broadway Community Ministry worried they will have to dip into programming funds

The shelves are nearly bare at West Broadway Community Ministry, which hands out food near-daily to people in need. (Ray Eskritt/Supplied)

Staff at West Broadway Community Ministry say they're worried they will have to dip into their programming funding to buy food as the shelves at their popular food bank run increasingly bare.

"Shelves kind of go bare in the summertime at West Broadway," said Ray Eskritt, who helps run their food bank. "People normally donate large amounts of food throughout the year and it keeps our shelves fairly stocked.

"But in the summertime, many of our donors are out at the cottage, or they're on vacation elsewhere, so our shelves kind of dwindle and dwindle and dwindle."

The food bank generally serves between 20 and 40 people a day, all of whom can only access the food bank once every three months under their rules, said Eskritt. 

"We have a little bit of extra money so we can go and buy when we are in deep need like right now, but that money has to come from somewhere, and unfortunately that comes from our small non-profit's bottom line."

The need seems to have grown bigger this year, she added.

The West Broadway Community Ministry is a safe place for neighbours to socialize and get a hot meal, as well as a local food bank. (Sam Samson/CBC News)

"Right now, it feels like … the need is intensifying."

While tent cities have recently popped up in the ministry's neighbourhood of West Broadway, she said those tent cities themselves haven't increased the need, but general poverty has.

"[The tent city] people existed before they were visible," said Eskritt. "It was just unusual to see them all in one place."

Eskritt believes a lack of housing and addictions issues are what is driving the increased need. 

"It's growing, but I'm not sure how much."

The biggest needs are for canned meat, shelf-stable foods, cereals, pastas and pasta sauces. They are also in need of hygiene items like soap, toothpaste, socks and more.

Anyone wishing to make a food donation can do so by dropping it off at the Ministry on the corner of Furby Street and Broadway from Monday-Friday (except Tuesdays) from 9-3. The ministry also accepts monetary donations. 

Eskritt says many food banks struggle in the summer, and believes one of the best strategies for changing that, in addition to donating, is to contact local politicians. 

"Call your representative and say that hunger matters to you, and ask what their plan is to help people access food."

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Account Holder

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now