LABRADOR WEST, N.L.
The chair of the Labrador West Ministerial Food Bank Board is delighted with the amount of food collected during recent flu vaccine clinics held at United Steelworkers Union Hall.
“We don’t have everything counted yet but we believe we have over 750 (food) items that we’ll be organizing tomorrow and getting over to the food bank,” Bill Burt said during a phone interview on Oct. 30.
Labrador-Grenfell Health offered the flu vaccine clinics from Oct. 22-25.
Burt said the clinics have been held in the United Steelworkers Union Hall for several years.
While there’s no requirement for people to bring along a food item, he said, people have gotten used to doing it.
People also donated money during the food drive, he said.
Burt said this time of year, heading into the Christmas season, is a great time to get donations for the food bank.
“We have many food drives and they are always a help,” he said.
Food Bank co-ordinator Rebecca Burke said the number of people availing of the food bank has doubled since 2014. Factors for the increase include everything from a struggling economy to increases in the cost of groceries and housing, she said.
Burke said residents of Labrador West continue to donate and contribute to the food bank.
The food bank is also lucky to have a great group of volunteers who work with board members to ensure clients are always taken care of, she said.
“And we are fortunate that the ministerial helps and purchases the staple items we require,” she said.
Burke also wanted to let residents know that there is a new drop-off box at IGA which makes donating to the food back that much easier.
USW 5795 President Ron Thomas confirmed that his union offers the space for the flu vaccine clinics to Labrador-Grenfell Health free of charge.
Wanda Slade, senior director at the Labrador West Health Centre, said “Labrador-Grenfell Health is committed to working with the communities we serve and recognize the value that these collaborations provide to the population.”
In a statement about the annual seasonal flu clinics, Slade thanked the community health nurses who organize and promote the food drive at the clinics. She also applauded members of the food bank and the USW for the work they do each year to assist their communities.
“Nutrition has a significant impact on our health, and contributions to community food banks are always welcome, and a positive way to give back to the community,” Slade said.