A helping hand from the food bank

Single mom Sarah Clegg is grateful for the support she has received from the Abbotsford Food Bank and Christmas Bureau.

  • Dec. 25, 2012 1:00 p.m.

Sarah Clegg appreciates the help she receives from the Abbotsford Food Bank and Christmas Bureau.

by Michael Letendre, Contributor

Christmas could have been difficult this year for some local families without the help of the Abbotsford Food Bank and Christmas Bureau, which provides those in need with a hamper of food and Christmas gifts for their children.

Sarah Clegg, 34, and her 10-year-old daughter, Jaydah, are grateful for the help.

Clegg, who has used the food bank for most of her life, said it is easy for people to judge.

“You feel like you have to explain your whole life to someone to get their respect.”

Sitting on a couch in her basement suite, Clegg’s voice shook as she recounted her life as one marred by abuse, drugs and poverty. Raised in a violent home, she was molested by a family friend when she was only four. She started smoking at the age of 11, and moved to drugs and alcohol by age 12.

Clegg was struck by a car when she was 13, leaving her with constant back pain and unable to work.

Clegg spent most of her teens and 20s addicted to drugs, spiralling so far out of control she duelled with death. Thoughts of her daughter kept her going, and ultimately led her to get addiction treatment.

“I didn’t want my daughter following my path, so I had to change my ways.”

Sober for the past seven years, Clegg said the food bank has been a foundation of support for her family.

“Without them, we would not have made it this far.”

Clegg sometimes has a hard time accepting help from others, but has never felt judged by the people at the food bank.

“They have never once made me feel guilty about getting their help. They just want to see people do well in the community.”

That spirit of generosity is a value that Clegg wants to instil in her daughter.

“I try to teach my daughter that it’s better to give than to receive, so we made sure we donated $20 to the SPCA this Christmas. It might not be much, but it’s all we can give.”

To make a donation to the Abbotsford Food Bank, visit abbotsfordfoodbank.com, call 604-859-5749 or drop in to 33914 Essendene Ave.

Just Posted

Suspected impaired driver crashes into parked truck

Incident takes place Sunday night in Abbotsford

Man pleads guilty to domestic assault that ended in collision with police truck

Daniel Staples-Taylor is scheduled for sentencing July 4 in Abbotsford

New rules could curb house sizes in certain areas of Abbotsford

Public says subdivisions OK in infill areas, but houses are being built too large

Olympian Brent Hayden featured in a solo exhibition of his photography

The exhibit is entitled Time in Frames and takes place at the Mission Arts Council building

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

VIDEO: Culture Fest, Culture Feast in Abbotsford

Abbotsford Youth Commission celebrates Canadian Multiculturalism Day

Man facing charges after West End purse-snatching

A 47-year-old Vancouver woman was pushed to the ground

5 to start your day

Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec, Surrey’s rainbow sidewalk vandalized and more

Closing arguments expected in trial for twice convicted Canadian killer

Crown, defence expected to give closing arguments in Millard murder trial

Pigs crash yoga class in B.C.

First it was goats, now it’s pigs — you can get downward dog with the whole farm in Aldergrove

Canadians undertake the world’s most dangerous peacekeeping mission

A dozen Canadian peacekeepers arrive in Mali as yearlong mission begins

U.S. justices won’t hear case of anti-gay marriage florist

The case is regarding whether business owners can refuse on religious grounds to comply with anti-discrimination laws

Kangaroo stops play during Australian soccer match

The women’s game stopped play for more than 30 minutes on Monday due to the kangaroo

Surrey’s first rainbow crosswalk defaced 10 days after installation

‘I think it’s very disappointing someone would do this. It’s horrible,’ said Surrey resident who took photo of the damage

Most Read