The Mayors Food Bank Challenge is coming to a close. Before it does, though, White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker is asking residents to dig deep to help their struggling neighbours.
The challenge occurs in the month of May to bring attention to food insecurity, with more and more people relying on local food banks in order to have enough to eat each day.
Of those 600 people, 33 per cent are children who rely on school programs to get their breakfast and lunch meals for the day. This is a huge issue with summer break approaching, meaning the programs will be paused for a few months. “What is going to happen to them?” Walker asked.
“It’s an absolute need, something that we shouldn’t have to go and ask people to do. It should be a given that governments can go out and support stuff like this and make sure that people have not only food, but good, nourishing food.”
The reason food banks exist should be looked at further, Walker said. “Why haven’t we found a cause and solution to this problem?” he added.
Support for local food banks needs to be a permanent initiative, rather than just a month-long challenge, Walker said.
“It’s a given that the need for food banks is not going away, so we need to be doing more as a society to make sure that the funding is in place and that people are actually given a decent wage so that they can afford whatever the cost for food is.”
The mayor would like to see the B.C. government “step-up and realize that they have a responsibility” to the people of the province, especially as inflation continues to rise, he said.
Although Walker is a supporter of the food bank challenge and plans to join again next year if re-elected, his biggest hope is that there won’t be a need for this challenge to come around every year. Rather, he wants to see a permanent solution that serves the community long-term.
As of Thursday (May 26), the City of White Rock has raised a little over $1,000, and although this money will help, Walker wants to see it increase.
“Please give, it’s going to a good cause,” he said. “Help those that are unable right now to help themselves. It’s going to a good cause and this is the cause we all need to be involved in. That’s the type of society I want to live in.”