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Editorial: Balancing living and giving more difficult

When we hit late December, the time of year which is traditionally about sharing and giving, that can be difficult for many.
Supporting good causes such as food banks more difficult as budgets tighten.

YORKTON - We are at that time of year when two stark realities tend to come head-to-head for many.

On one hand we all know the cost of basic living is continuing to grow – for most outstripping and wage hikes.

Food costs are high.

The city has recently announced water rates are rising.

It’s a pretty sure bet property taxes are going to go up in 2024 too.

The list of what costs more is ultimately a long one, and for many it stretches budgets significantly.

Something often has to go, whether that is a holiday, or meals out, or just less something.

So when we hit late December, the time of year which is traditionally about sharing and giving, that can be difficult for many.

No one wants to continually walk by Salvation Army kettles and other seasonal charities which are working to make the season brighter for those needing some help, but with bills to pay the extra cash to donate may no longer be there.

And there is the other side of things perhaps felt most keenly at this time of year, the growing need by those who just don’t have the funds needed for the basics of life.

Within the last couple of years we have seen a temporary shelter open in Yorkton to provide a bed for those with no bed to go to many nights.

We have seen a community fridge launched, a place people whose cupboard is bare can go to get some groceries.

And we know too that the requests for food hampers from the Salvation Army at this time of year are not in decline either.

While we should be proud of efforts locally to create Bruno’s Place or the community fridge because they do help address a need – they only exist with community support too.

And the reality of stretched budgets put fundraising efforts to the test.

There are numerous ‘great causes’ in Yorkton, many with great merit for what they provide, but they are ultimately asking the same pool of residents for support and many of those residents are operating under ever tighter budgets, or have slipped into that group that at least on occasion need a food hamper, or help with kid’s sport equipment.

It is not a pleasant thing to thing about amid the pretty lights and shiny tinsel of the season, but we must wonder how in a great country like Canada people are homeless, and hungry?

Surely we should be better than that.

And, more importantly how do we stop more from becoming homeless and hungry into the future.