Holiday charity services see an increase in youth and seniors

Almost 150 elderly people have used the Abbotsford Food Bank this year

  • Dec. 10, 2016 7:00 p.m.

Toys piled up at the Quality Hotel and Conference Centre during the fourth annual Toys for Tots event for the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau last month.

by Owen Munro, Abbotsford News

Christmas fundraising campaigns are in full swing across Abbotsford, but the number of people using the services is going up, putting an extra burden on organizations that are already lagging behind previous years.

For the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau (which serves as the food bank for the rest of the year) and Cyrus Centre two of the major agencies that help assist residents during the holidays donations are still coming in to support the increasing amount of people using the services offered.

The Christmas Bureau’s goal of reaching $1 million in donations is a little more than halfway there, with the organization having raised $537,000 so far.

The money raised provides funding for programs and services for the next 12 months. They also collect donations from various school food drives and the Fraser Valley Auto Mall food drive that takes place this Saturday.

This year, food bank manager Dave Murray said that almost 150 seniors have come in looking for help, a number he only expects to rise in future years.

“I think it’s a trend we’re going to see more and more,” he said. “It’s going up every year and the fact of the matter is when seniors come in, they’re usually pretty desperate. It takes a lot to do that.”

However, it’s not just seniors who risk going hungry or homeless; the Cyrus Centre on Ware Street is seeing an unprecedented number of at-risk youth coming to the centre’s food bank and emergency shelter.

Executive director Les Talvio said the centre has increased its fundraising goal to $110,000 because World Vision pulled out of a $60,000 partnership with the non-profit in order to focus on work overseas. He doesn’t have an exact estimate on what has been raised so far, but said it’s around 40 per cent of their goal.

The uptick in youth looking for food or a place to sleep has been a concern for Talvio.

“We’re seeing about 20 kids a day,” Talvio said. “However, our shelter has been busier where we’re seeing about a 20 per cent increase.”

An update from the Salvation Army which supports single people and couples without children was not available by press deadline.

Visit abbotsfordfoodbank.com, cyruscentre.com or careandshare.ca for more information on how to help.

 

 

Just Posted

Man wants guilty plea revoked in 2012 collision in Abbotsford that killed Chilliwack woman

Michael Larocque was charged in relation to crash that killed Eileen Kleinfelder

Trial slated to start Monday for accused killer of Abbotsford cop

Oscar Arfmann faces first-degree murder for death of Const. John Davidson

George Ferguson Way apartment building goes to public hearing Monday

Bike lockers signal shift in Abbotsford developers’ thinking, Banman says

Agassiz study to look at drone use for pesticide application

The study will be the first in Canada to use drones to apply pesticides to farm fields

Abbotsford wasting time and money on ‘invalid’ surveys, UFV math prof says

Statistician says city can’t claim quality of life survey reflects opinions of Abbotsford residents

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

High-risk sex offender released into Surrey

Earon Wayne Giles, a Newton “tag-team rapist,” was released from prison Friday and is now living in Surrey

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parent’s cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

UPDATE: Vancouver man dies after crash between motorcycle, transport truck

Police believe speed was a factor in Thursday collision

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Body found after fire at Surrey homeless camp, police say

Surrey RCMP say the body was found inside a shed after firefighters extinguished the fire

RCMP probe hit-and-run of Richmond senior

The man, who is in his mid-70s, was walking with his wife when he was allegedly struck

Most Read