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Commentary: The need for food and support is very great

The Salvation Army food bank is in need of support, along with charities helping the people of Ukraine
A Canada-Ukraine flag adorned the wall at the brunch at the Weyburn Legion, held to help out refugees in Ukraine

WEYBURN – There are some very real needs in our community and in the world today, and it would be really good if the residents of Weyburn area were able to step up and help out.

For anyone looking for a way to give, or wondering if they should dig into their pockets to lend a hand, there is no shortage of places or needs to respond to.

In Weyburn and area, the need for the Salvation Army’s food bank is reaching an urgent level. There will be a food drive that will run from March 31 to about April 14 at the Wholesale Club, and hopefully there will be a good response from local residents to this appeal.

The food bank is giving out around 160 food hampers a month right now. This is up significantly from a year ago, when on average they were giving out around 100 hampers a month.

What’s happened? Well, there’s been COVID, which has impacted on businesses, families and jobs, plus now there are supply chain issues, and rising prices.

The prices, which aren’t just at the gas pump, are impacted by COVID and by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. That situation has sent the price of oil skyrocketing, which in turn causes other prices to also rise. The planes, trains and trucks that transport goods all have to use higher-priced fuels, and that cost gets passed on to companies and consumers (mostly consumers, actually).

If you are on a fixed income, or don’t have a job, the higher prices on food and everything else makes it a lot harder to pay the rent, and buy gas and groceries. Thus, the food bank is filling a lot more needs these days.

The other really big need relates to the aforementioned cause of the inflation, namely the crisis forcing millions of Ukrainians to flee their country while Russia pounds their cities with bombs.

There are several charities and food aid organizations that are helping out with this need. This includes the Canadian Red Cross, the United Nations Food program, and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, among many others.

The Foodgrains Bank is worth mentioning, as they are able to get matching dollars from the federal government, so if the donation is for emergency food supplies, a $1 donation turns into $5 worth of food.

They also partner with other agencies that are in the Poland-Ukraine region that help get food supplies to the people who need it.

The response of Weyburn area residents has always been very generous, as was seen at the fundraiser brunch held on Saturday at the Weyburn Legion. Organized by local Ukrainian residents, they were able to raise $5,000 which will be sent to a charity that works within Ukraine, helping displaced people still in the country. They are a great example of how we can all help out. 

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