Meeting hunger needs in Fort St. James

Sausage, eggs, pancakes and cereal are luxury items when your pockets are empty.

Sausage, eggs, pancakes and cereal are luxury items when your pockets are empty.

For some people this is a harsh reality which is why Reverends Roy and Gwen Andrews of the Anglican Church started to address the topic in Nov 2010 by offering a soup lunch at St. Patrick’s Church every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to  1 p.m. Subsequently, they were joined in this effort by Our Lady of Snows Roman Catholic, Evangelico Free and Camp Living Water in Vanderhoof. The program has since been taken over but the Stuart Lake Outreach group who also offers a food bank on the third Wednesday of each month. Now, nearly every day a breakfast or lunch is being served in the community for people to enjoy a hot meal who would otherwise not have one.

“Whenever I fall on hard times I go to St. Patrick’s. It’s not too often but it’s nice to know it’s an option when your short on money and can’t do anything,” Anthony Lebrun, 56, said, who is on disability and gets $600 a month. “I mean it’s ok but doesn’t really buy you much.”

Four community groups (Fire Weed, Northern Health, Nak’azdli and Nak’albun) sponsor the breakfast program at St. Patricks which runs every Thursday from 9 -11 a.m. A bannock social at the KEY is also open to the public every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning.

 

“These services are such a good supplement and the social aspect is very important,” Rev. Gwen said. “What we’ve seen is there’s now a greater understanding of the various needs of people and great willingness of people in Fort St. James to come together to meet those needs.”