Providing Food and Hope When the Cupboards are Bare

Sharon smiles holding a box of food from the food bank

Bipolar disorder was a challenge for Sharon to manage in the workplace. A certified public accountant (CPA), she was successfully employed until a mania phase left her in a deep depression. Unable to perform activities of daily living, she lost her job.

“It’s hard to maintain a job when you are laying on the couch depressed and feeling like a failure,” says Sharon. “When I crash it takes a long time to recover.”

“I’ve been hungry many times.”

Unable to hold a job, and on a fixed income, Sharon’s food cupboards were often bare. Feeling hungry became more frequent, so she came to The Salvation Army’s food bank in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, for help.

According to statistics Canada, 1 in 8 Canadians are food insecure.

“I’ve been hungry many times,” says Sharon. “I come to The Salvation Army to get food—groceries to get me through to the next month—so I won’t experience gnawing in my stomach and headaches because I haven’t eaten for so long.”

Every month Sharon comes to the food bank for items such as potatoes, vegetables, crackers and soup.

“It’s sickening to be hungry and open your cupboards to find they are bare,” says Sharon. “The food bank ensures that I have something substantial to eat every night.”

The Salvation Army community food bank operates throughout the year. Food is provided for individuals and families that are otherwise unable to meet their needs or are struggling financially.

“The food bank ensures that I have something substantial to eat every night.”

“Coming to The Salvation Army makes my heart feel lighter,” says Sharon. “The staff are so kind and helpful. When I get my hamper, I leave hopeful for a better-looking month.”

By Linda Leigh