The Government of BC states that “food security exists when all people have sufficient, safe and nutritious food for an active and healthy life. Healthy food needs to be available and accessible so people can make healthy food choices.” But what if you cannot afford to access healthy and nutritious food? With grocery prices going up an average of nearly 10 percent through 2022, it’s not just people living on the streets struggling to afford basic groceries.
With poverty, food insecurity and homelessness rising in Canada, it is crucial to work together to support those in need. According to Second Harvest, a food rescue and redistribution organization in Canada, “Four million Canadians have insufficient access to food. Nevertheless, of the avoidable and edible FLW that occurs along the value chain, an estimated 86 percent is currently not rescued and redistributed.”
It is our aim to care for and improve the lives of the people in Vernon who live isolated, unsheltered and in poverty. 2022 was a recovery year after two difficult years of the COVID pandemic in our community. Due to the 2020 pandemic limitations, and staff and volunteer shortages, we could only open our doors four days a week. After re-establishing services to five days a week in 2021, there was still a need for access to food on the weekends. At the beginning of 2022, we were able to extend our service offering to seven days a week, ensuring greater access to food for those in need.
We also hosted several community dinners, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas, during which we invited the community to come and celebrate with us. These events have been traditionally part of the Upper Room Mission each year, and we were happy to bring them back after a brief Covid delay.
Many businesses in Vernon support The Upper Room Mission to help feed those within our community who otherwise would not be able to access a warm and nutritious meal. All three Shopper’s Drug Marts, The Vernon Superstore, Cobbs Bread, Anderson Way Starbucks, The Salvation Army Food Bank and The Lake Country Food Bank all partner with The URM through food donations. These donations are food items that cannot be sold but are still suitable for creating healthy meals for our guests.
Because of these partnerships and generous donations from our community members in 2022, we served 41 634 meals and rescued 10 818 pounds of food!
Not only does this help keep thousands of pounds from the landfill, where they would create harmful greenhouse gases, but it also allows us to redistribute food into our community where it is needed. We are so thankful for the generosity and support all these businesses and individuals have provided. We look forward to continuing to grow together to positively impact the lives of the poor, unsheltered and marginalized in our beautiful city of Vernon and beyond!
Contact us to see how you or your business can get involved in this vital cause.