(February 7, 2002, Gazette)
Well, here we are, the other side of Christmas. And what a Christmas for
the Campus Food Bank. We prepared 80 hampers for delivery and pick up
the weekend before Christmas, and a further delivery of five emergency
hampers on Christmas Eve. This along with our regular food bank operation.
And we couldnt possibly have done it without the support and generosity
of the university community, and the St. Johns community at large.
There are some people who need to be thanked, and I hope in doing so I
dont leave anyone out. Thanks to all the regular food bank volunteers,
as well as those who chip in to man the fort and make deliveries of hampers
for the busy time of Christmas. Thanks to Joe Hanlon and his department
for their help and cooperation in providing extra space for hamper preparation
and making our job a little easier. A huge thanks to the Graduate Students
Union, without whose regular budgeted donation we couldnt possibly
have made the necessary purchases, as well as MUNSU for their ongoing
financial support. Thanks to all the MUN departments who donated full
hampers or collected general food and financial donations. Thanks to all
the individual donors who also dug into well worn pockets and so generously
went the second mile to help us. A special thanks as well to the MUN Ballroom
and Latin Dance Club for the huge collection of food at their Christmas
dance, along with all those who took part in the Halloween and MUNITY
Food Drives. Thanks are also extended to the staff at the Community Food
Sharing Association for all their extra efforts at Christmas, as well
as their continued cooperation throughout the year. And a super thank
you to Noel Veitch, our food bank coordinator, for his tireless efforts
on our behalf all year long. Im sure there are more people to thank
... if I have neglected to do so here, please know that all your help
was greatly appreciated.
And, as I said, here we are at the beginning of a New Year, a time of
renewed hope for those less fortunate among us. Let us not forget that
the need goes on all year.
Let me share some highlights from our food bank statistics for the year
2001. We served a total of 1,626 people, which includes a 29 per cent
increase in the number of university students and their families over
the year 2000. There was also an increase of 60 per cent in the number
of students who attend other post-secondary institutions in the city who
came to us for assistance. The total figure above includes 632 children
under the age of 18. Our figure of 39 per cent children is comparable
to statistics from across Canada.
It is sad that the figures are on the rise, and only emphasizes the importance
of institutions such as ours who can lend some support to those less fortunate
It is because of the continuing support of donors like yourself we can
fulfill our mandate to provide help to those who need it, whenever they
need it, throughout the year.
Our food bank is unique in this city in that we also provide weekly milk,
bread and healthy recess snacks for approximately 40 families who use
our services. This undertaking costs us approximately $250 per week, along
with another $50 for weekly perishable supplies such as milk, eggs and
margarine for the regular food bank operation. We also occasionally have
to purchase infant formula and diapers as the need arises. So far, weve
been able to keep ahead of this demand, but we may have to look into curtailing
these services unless we can come up with the funds necessary to continue.
Therefore, we will be looking at ways to augment our bank account in the
coming months, and hope that, if you see a fund raiser or tin can ear-marked
for the Campus Food Bank, you will remember those less fortunate and contribute
what you can. Please dont forget that all your recycling that is
brought to the Smallwood Centre benefits the food bank thanks to the efforts
of MUNSU in establishing a contract with Evergreen Recycling. As well,
all suggestions for fund raising are welcome.
If you have food or monetary donations, please leave a message at our
voice mail system 737-3467 and we can arrange pick up. Receipts for income
tax purposes are provided. Food may also be dropped off at the Food Bank
located in Corte Real, just follow the signs inside the door. Alternate
drop-off locations include the MUNSU Office, located on the second floor
of the University Centre (UC-2000).
As you move forward into 2002, may you be blessed with good health, good
fortune, the love of family and friends, and a full table. May the blessings
of your faith, whatever that may be, shine upon you this year.
President, Board of Directors
Campus Food Bank