Our food bank in town is largely supported by area churches, hence the name Inter-Church Emergency Food Bank. It also receives great support from the local Lions Club who do a city-wide blitz on one day every November collecting door-to-door. Their blitz along with the consistent support of our churches keeps the shelves stocked at the food bank.
Around this time every year, at the end of summer and leading up to the Lions' blitz in November, the shelves start to get bare. Last year we started a garden behind the church. We roto-tilled part of the lawn and planted tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers. The peppers didn't produce anything but we had a great crop of tomatoes and cucumbers that we took to the foodbank as they ripened. This spring we enlarged the garden, planted more tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and this year added peas, beans, and radishes. The radishes were done early. The peas produced one crop and then this summer's drought dried them up. Now the cucumbers, tomatoes and beans are producing like crazy. The food bank is open Tuesday and Friday mornings so on those mornings my wife picks whatever is ripe and one of us takes it down to be distributed.
But for the canned goods, peanut butter, jam, and cereal that is running out we're going to put a push on for the month of September. The Lutheran church around the corner (the other flavour from ours) challenged us to a friendly competition for one month to see which congregation can collect the most for the food bank. It think it's a good idea and we can have some fun with it while doing some good.
A few of our parishioners volunteer at the food bank and they say that now, in the summer, clients come in with their kids because they're not in school. It breaks your heart to see that. It angers me that we, in wealthy Canada, need food banks in our cities, and that there are families with kids who have to make use of them. More reason to Make Poverty History.