Digby food bank facing shortfall: Town council offering $1,500

Jonathan Riley jriley@digbycourier.ca
Published on December 21, 2016

DIGBY, N.S. – The Digby food bank needs help.

Roger Tibbetts of the Digby and Area Food Bank appeared before the committee of the whole for the Town of Digby Dec. 19 to ask council for $3,250 on top of the $750 the town has already granted.

Tibbetts told council that the food bank is serving more clients but receiving less in donations.

The Digby food bank is now serving 272 families, up 54 from last year. Meanwhile donations are down 54 per cent.

“I’ve been downsizing, changing the menu, cutting back and cutting back,” said Tibbetts.

For example, Tibbetts says he hasn’t bought peanut butter in six months.

“If you take $4 times 150, that’s $600 and 12 times a year that’s $7,200,” he said. “I had to cut out peanut butter because it’s too expensive.”

Last year 82 organizations supported the Digby Food Bank while this year that number has fallen to 30.

Tibbetts understands that people only have so much money for charities and everyone has a cause that is important to them.

“There is only so much money to go around,” said Tibbetts.

Councillors suggested that the food bank needs a fundraiser or fundraising committee to improve their revenue; and they also thought the food bank might have to consider dropping a pick up day per month.

The Digby food bank is open three Wednesdays a month and each client is welcome to visit two weeks per month.

“We are one of the most fortunate food banks in the province, we have been able to maintain the three times a month, most are once or twice a month,” said Tibbetts.

About 30 volunteers help the food bank. Three teams of eight take turns working one Wednesday a month to hand out food.

And about 14 people show up on Tuesdays to unload, unpack and stock shelves.

Tibbetts says the food bank normally has a surplus of $4,000 to $5,000 going into the new year but will end this year with a deficit.

Council’s committee of the whole works like a pre-meeting, for councillors to consider information and make recommendations for the next meeting of council.

The committee voted to recommend that council grant the food bank another $1,500. Council will vote on that in January.

Tibbetts will also be requesting help from the Municipality of the District of Digby in the new year.

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jriley@digbycourier.ca