Fighting Hunger with Dignity

by Ontario Central East
Categories: Divisional News

By: June Li
The Rainbow Country Salvation Army Church in Parry Sound is helping fight hunger with dignity. Last month, the church unveiled their new food bank. Rather than following the traditional operations, the new food bank allows individuals to pick out their own groceries based on a pre-set point system. Clients are able to go through a shopping experience where the food bank is set up similar to a supermarket. The point system will also allow clients to use life-skills for budgeting purposes when picking out their items.

For food bank users, this grocery store styled food bank is providing them with a more dignified way of life. “They’ve selected the food for themselves and it gives them a sense of self-worth,” says Lt. Scott Allen, Corps Officer at Rainbow Country Church.

[Photograph by: Sarah Bissonette]

To further fight hunger in Parry Sound, the Rainbow Country Church will start a cooking program for members of the community in the New Year. From youth to seniors, these classes will teach individuals how to create nutritious meals using food available in the food bank. For seniors, these classes will help them cook proportionate meals to transition from cooking large family meals to smaller ones.  These classes are important as they show clients how far they can stretch a meal and how to preserve food properly for left overs.

Lt. Allen wants to break the stereotypes surrounding hunger and poverty, “Some people may think Parry Sound is cottage country and everyone is well off but there is a lot of poverty here”. Over the years, their food bank has seen an increase of senior clients. Due to mobility and health issues or the lack of knowledge with technology, seniors with financial difficulties may not be able to find employment. To help with this increase, the Rainbow Country Church plans to add budgeting and computer skills classes in the New Year.

Salvation Army programs are designed to help individuals and families lead independent lives, focusing on possibilities rather than problems. To find more information on any of the programs in this article please call 705-746-5391. To support programs like this in your community, please click here.