With the Thanksgiving weekend fast approaching, now seems like an appropriate time to give some thought to those for whom this holiday of the harvest will offer little to celebrate.
For too many Langley residents, whether they have a home address or not, Thanksgiving won’t include a trip to the local supermarket to load their carts with a plump turkey and their favourite trimmings.
Instead, they’ll be depending on the local food bank to help put dinner on the table this weekend.
It’s a sad fact that the number of visibly poor in Langley has increased exponentially over the past several years, but it’s not just the people we see living in tents on the Nicomekl floodplain or under tarps on sidewalks, who make up the more than 600 people using the Sources Langley Foodbank each week.
We’ve spoken with single mothers, seniors and disabled people who have turned to the local foodbank for help to fill in the gaps once the money is gone.
They may be able to afford a meagre amount rent, but have little or nothing left over to purchase even the most basic groceries, never mind a holiday feast.
Sources, which opened its doors in the United Church building on 200 Street, as Langley’s accredited foodbank in 2015, recently completed its second local Thanksgiving food drive.
We’re happy to report that the community stepped up and answered the call, contributing 19,000 pounds (8,600 kg) — three times what was collected during last year’s campaign.
And it’s going to mean that those who don’t take part in the Gateway of Hope’s Thanksgiving turkey lunch on Friday at noon (where everyone is welcome) will be able to enjoy a nice, festive meal at home.
Just because the food drive has ended, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to make a contribution.
In fact, it’s the times in between celebrations such as Thanksgiving and Christmas that foodbanks are most in need of the community’s support to fill hampers and help to ensure our most vulnerable neighbours have — at minimum — the basic nutrition needed to thrive.
Hunger isn’t seasonal.
And it certainly never takes a holiday.