Volunteers prepare food for the boxes that are handed out first and the third Tuesday of each month. The food bank closes at 1 p.m.

Volunteers prepare food for the boxes that are handed out first and the third Tuesday of each month. The food bank closes at 1 p.m.

Lakes District Food Bank gets grant

However, the food bank still needs donations, says coordinator.

The Lakes District Family Enhancement Society is receiving $70,000 from the B.C. government through the community gaming grant program.

“We’re so grateful for this grant,” said Candice Little, Coordinator of Lakes District Family Enhancement Society. “We would not be able to function without it.”

Little said that although she is grateful for the funding, she knows that the money is not enough to support the food bank for the entire year.

“This grant gives us a relief for the first part of the year, but if this grant was all we had, we would not be able to make it through the year,” she said.

The food bank spends an average of $6000 to $7000 every two weeks purchasing perishable items such as vegetables, fruits, bread and eggs. From April 2013 to March 2014, the Lakes District Food Bank was able to distribute 1640 food boxes to disadvantaged children and families in the community, helping to feed an average of 161 adults and 81 children.

Anne Guarasci, member of the Lakes District Family Enhancement Society, said the recently received community gaming grant is critical for disadvantaged families in the Lakes District.

“This support provides food for families who depend on the food bank to feed their children and/or themselves,” she said. “This funding, combined with the generous donations of the community, provides families with a much needed food service, twice a month.”

Every year, the provincial government approves $135 million in gaming grants that benefit more than 5000 local non-profit organizations that serve communities throughout British Columbia. These grants are used for programs that significantly contribute to the quality of life in the community, including assisting the disadvantaged or distressed, promoting health, or enhancing opportunities for youth.

“The Lakes District Family Enhancement Society, with the help of volunteers, plays a vital role in strengthening our community by providing families with nutritious and healthy food choices,” Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad said.

“We will keep looking at innovative ways of raising funds to keep the food bank open,” said Little.