A world without food banks is a matter of life or death for many. We need serious solutions and food banks are an answer, but they require continual support. Without proper nutrition, the most vulnerable in society are at risk. According to Hunger Count 2012, a comprehensive report on hunger and food bank use in Canada, food banks in B.C. served approximately 96,150 people last year alone. Those numbers continue to climb. These are people who range in age, abilities, ethnicity, family size and economic status.
Those who know me know my heart is drawn to support any event that supports the Surrey Food Bank, its Tiny Bundles Program and any such food bank that helps others. That's why when I got the call from my friend, Martin Rooney, last year to help the Keys' organization, I jumped at it.
Keys Housing and Health Solutions, formally South Fraser Community Services Society, was founded in 1992 as a non-profit service agency. Today one of the amazing services it offers is called Djaef Mahler Grocery, operated entirely by volunteers. It's a specialized high-protein food bank for residents in the Keys Housing and Health Solutions region living with HIV and in need of nutritional support. It is estimated that an average of 65 HIV-positive individuals access this service each Wednesday.
On Dec. 1, (World AIDS Day) I will be coemceeing an event called Red Ribbons for Life VI at the Columbia Theatre with Martin. This event was founded by him as part of the campaign to remove the U.S. HIV travel ban. Proceeds have surpassed $10,000 since 2008 and have benefited local and international causes. Each year, the momentum of the event grows with sponsors, participants as well as the crucial funds to help those in desperate need in our community.
You can become a sponsor or get tickets by contacting redribbonsforlife.com Tickets are $30 and all proceeds will benefit the HIV/AIDS food bank. Along with entertainment comes education by featuring a keynote speaker Dr. Brian Conway, and amazing raffles and the not-to-be-missed auction!
Kim Rose is a consultant and contributing columnist for Possabilities.
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