Despite this being one of the busiest times of year for the Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank, there is also annual business to be attended to. The Food Bank held its Annual General Meeting last Tuesday, December 8 and President Stan Salikin reported that it was a very successful year.
“Over 1500 food hampers were donated to people in our area who experienced food and financial insecurity,” Salikin said at the AGM. “This assisted over 3600 people, including 1500 children. The Food Bank continues its mission to provide healthy, nutritional food to the many needy people within our designated area.”
Salikin said that keeping the Food Bank financially solvent is one of the major tasks for board members.
“Members of the board are continuously looking for new and innovative ideas to ensure that the Food Bank will remain relevant and solvent and will continue to successfully meet its obligation of providing assistance to clients in need,” he said. “The current members of the board deserve a huge thank you for their valuable commitment of time and expertise to keep the Food Bank operating at such a high and successful level.”
Another important cog in the wheel is volunteers.
“Volunteers are the backbone of the entire operation,” Salikin said. “Many of our volunteers have regular schedules and put in large numbers of hours month after month. Others give of their free time to come in for special projects.
“They all do it from the goodness of their heart, because they know the need is there and they want to help. Without dedicated hardworking volunteers there would not be a food bank of the this high calibre and efficiency in Kimberley. Thank you to all the wonderful people in our town and area, without you it would not be possible to keep going.”
Salikin also expressed his and the board’s gratitude to longtime Food Bank manager Heather Smith.
“Having a knowledgable, dedicated person in this demanding position is of the greatest importance. Keeping the day to day activities running smoothly, week after week, training and supervising the volunteer staff and getting the food distributed to the people, training and supervising the volunteer staff is one gigantic task. Thank you Heather for your hard work and dedicated service.”
Salikin said the Food Bank was busier than ever before this year.
“Many desperate people with little or no financial resources, people in poor physical and mental health, people down on their luck and with low self esteem, seniors on extremely limited income and people who arrive in Kimberley with high hopes of securing employment but being disappointed to discover that things are not as they had hoped for. These are the people who end up on the steps of the Food Bank. The volunteers are the ones on the front lines and are the first responders to these sad situations. They treat every individual in a professional, sensitive manner, while conducting their duties. We are thankful that our Food Bank is able to meet the needs of these people during their time of food insecurity, stress and tension caused by insufficient financial resources and poverty.”
And finally Salikin recognized the tremendous support from the people of Kimberley.
“Our food bank is so fortunate to have such wonderful financial support from the community. The people of Kimberley and surrounding areas have been exceptionally generous to our cause. Many hundreds of ordinary citizens donate large numbers of cash and food stuffs to our food bank. Many businesses, large and small contribute cash, as well as service clubs and schools, church members and church organizations, unions and other organizations. The support is simply tremendous. These people understand the meaning of giving from their heart. They are aware of the needs of many of our citizens. All of our directors want to express our sincere thanks once again to everyone of the people and the organizations that support us so generously.
“There are hundreds of people that can truthfully say the Food Bank saved their families and maybe even their lives. Everyone who volunteers their time and service or contributes financially or in kind has made a difference in these people’s lives. Your help is appreciated by everyone involved.”