CARBONEAR, NL — A community barbeque had one Carbonear food bank filled to the brim on Wednesday afternoon, July 11.
The St. Vincent De Paul Food Bank in Carbonear has played an active role in ensuring that people in the area always have stocked cupboards and full stomachs. This past Wednesday the group got together for one of their monthly community meals, which they have been putting together for over a year now, with residents of Carbonear and surrounding communities coming by for a bite to eat, with food prepared by some of the food bank’s many volunteers.
Usually, these meals are hosted at the Masonic Lodge in Carbonear.
This time around, however, Kerri Abbott and the rest of the food bank volunteers decided to host it at the bank itself. It was meant to not only celelbrate the fact they recently gained ownership of the building they had been using for months, but to raise awareness of the food bank’s location for those who may need its services.
“I think the more people who know where we are and how to get to us, the better,” Abbott told The Compass during the meal. “There’s still a bit of a stigma attached to using the food bank, and things like this will help get rid of that stigma. With living costs increasing, more and more people find themselves coming to us, and no one should feel ashamed of that.”
This is also the first time in a few years that the food bank has taken on summer students.
This year, Kevin Hanlon and Katie Burke, of Carbonear and Victoria respectively, are working with the food bank for the summer. The two do various tasks, such as stocking shelves and filling food hampers, tending to the newly-redecorated building, and managing social media accounts for the food bank.
“It’s definitely been an eye-opener, for sure,” Burke said of the summer job. “You don’t realize how badly a community needs this kind of thing until you’re in here, working, and see firsthand just how much it helps people.”
Burke, who is is heading to Grade 10 this fall, said the sense of satisfaction she gets at this job is helping shape her sights for the future. She hopes to pursue a career that lets her lend a helping hand – similar to the work she’s doing at the St. Vincent De Paul Food Bank.