Whitehorse Food Bank Feels the Summer Heat

no-soup-july-2015Every summer the Whitehorse Food Bank faces the same challenge; how to meet increased demand at the same time  both food and cash donations dry up. Families with kids at home struggle to make sure there’s enough food to fill hungry bellies and visitors to the city turn to the Food Bank to help them make it through the summer.

New Executive Director Kyla Merkel has instituted some wonderful new initiatives including Family Day at the emergency food provider. All summer, each Wednesday will be reserved for families with children. At that time, only parents & kids will be allowed in the building. While the adults pick up their once monthly food hamper, children will be able to colour, play with toys and have a healthy snack.

With health in mind, the Food Bank has removed ramen and instant soups from their most requested list. Remember, If you make a food donation be sure to bring your grocery receipt when you drop off food; you will be sent a tax receipt at the end of the year… everyone wins!

How can you help?

Donate money!  Sign up for the Food Bank’s Green Apple Club! Visit www.whitehorsefoodbank.ca and register for easy donations monthly. Even $10/month will help ensure reliable cash flow. You can also donate online at Canada Helps or donate your recycling at Raven; just tell the clerk you’d like your refund donated to the Whitehorse Food Bank.

Donate food! Top items include pasta, canned soup, tinned fruit and vegetables, canned meat, dry cereal, rice & peanut butter. Visit the Donate Food page to learn more.


YEU Human Rights Speaker Series 2014

We are very excited to announce this year’s Human Rights Speaker Series. December 9-12 we offer noon hour presentations addressing human rights & social justice issues which impact our communities every day.  Please join us for lunch as we explore these topics with panelists who really understand the issues.

December 9: Dating Violence: Red Flags & Resources

This discussion will focus on the reality of violent teen and young adult relationships.  We’ll hear some statistics, consider some red flags and talk about what resources exist in our community. How do you tell if your relationship is healthy? What do you do when a friend is in trouble or you suspect your friend is a bad date?  We welcome an outreach worker from the RCMP, a youth worker from BYTE and a representative of the Victoria Faulkner Women’s Centre.

December 10: Housing & Homelessness: What’s at stake, what can we do?

The effects of precarious housing are far reaching. Homelessness is not exclusive to those we deem hard to house, and it affects people across our societal spectrum. We welcome your input in a discussion of the challenge of homelessness. This is not a problem that affects only those who struggle with homelessness; a community that can’t offer its citizens safe and affordable housing cannot grow to its full potential. We’ll have Kate Mechan, an expert from the Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition, Charlotte Hrenchuk of the Yukon Status of Women Council and the insight of a Whitehorse resident who has lived the experience of being without secure housing.

December 11: Who Feeds Us? Yukon Farmers, Yukon Food!                                                       2014 has been named “Year of the Family Farm” by the United Nations.

Food Security is a buzz phrase we hear often, especially when a highway goes out or a truck breaks down on its way to us; Yukoners depend heavily on food from “away”.  There is a growing movement toward improved sustainability and local production. We welcome pioneer organic farmer, Yukon’s Farmer of the Year for 2014, Mary Girouard of Rivendell Farms.  Tom & Simone Rudge of Aurora Mountain Farms will also be at the table.  As well as his efforts at the family farm, Tom Rudge is a passionate advocate for a GMO Free Yukon, while Simone’s research at the Yukon College’s Northern Research Greenhouse will inform Yukon agriculture for many seasons to come. Matt Ball  is a professional agrologist with the Yukon Government Agriculture Branch. He works closely with many of the farmers in the territory on aspects of soils, fertilizers, growing conditions, research, and market opportunities.  Matt has spent most of his life in the Yukon and drives to help build the agriculture industry so we have local food on our plates and a diversified economy.

December 12: Strong Women Take the Lead

We invite you to a great round table chat with some strong women leading the way. Whitehorse United Church Minister Bev Brazier, Kate White, MLA for Takhini-Kopper King, Educator & advocate for aboriginal youth Marilyn Jensen, and entrepreneur & community leader Patti Balsillie and  will share some of their experiences and ideas on leadership for women. Each representing entirely different types of leadership, we look forward to an interesting and active discussion.

These events are FREE & open to everyone. Seating is limited as our meeting room has a capacity of 45. We are pleased to offer a complimentary simple lunch each day provided by the Bird House Bakery.  If you have any questions please call us at 667-2331.

If you plan to bring a group PLEASE let us know in advance so we can ensure there is adequate seating available.

All presentations will take place in the YEU Hall, Lucy Jackson Training Room downstairs.  Please, join the event on Facebook and we’ll see you there!

The Food Bank Challenge… look what we DID!!

tammi till tape lighterWhen Whitehorse Food Bank‘s Executive Director Stephen Dunbar-Edge told CBC reporter Sandi Coleman things were looking bad he wasn’t kidding; the shelves were dangerously bare and emergency food hampers for the 1200 monthly clients were at risk.

YEU Local Y010 President Tammi Sikorski heard Stephen’s interview and decided to see how the Union could help. She spoke with her Local’s Executive and together they pledged what they could, issuing a challenge to other Locals to match their $700 donation. What happened next is the sort of thing that makes us all proud to be Yukoners.

Yukon Employees’ Union announced they would match the total donations pledged by the Locals, and  issued a challenge to its membership. Members were encouraged to make individual grocery purchases of $50 & take a photo of their purchase, posting it to the Yukon Employees’ Union Facebook page. By delivering  food directly to the Food Bank with a grocery receipt, name & address, donors receive a taxable donation receipt at the end of the tax year; that’s a win-win.

We also invited our members to join us for a massive scale shopping extravaganza on Saturday August 2nd. About 20 keen volunteers with carts and HUGE shopping lists loaded the Food Bank’s van and the Y010 trailer to the rafters, then delivered and shelved food at the Food Bank’s Alexander Street location. It was fantastic, energizing and FUN! It reminded all of us once again that unions really help keep the Unity in Community, and YE-Unity is pretty impressive!
The Food Bank needs consistent support. That support can be food or financial donations, but to provide emergency food for individuals and families in crisis they, need sustainable and reliable funding they can count on.

Consider becoming a Food Bank donor. The donation options are outlined on their website. Green Apple donors agree to a monthly contribution of $10 or more, allowing a predictable income and operating budget for the organization. Want to volunteer? Contact them at 393-BANK(2265) or through their website, www.whitehorsefoodbank.ca. Volunteers are always needed and summer is a particularly challenging time, with many volunteers away.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our fund and food drive. We want to extend our gratitude to the folks at Superstore too; they added $200 to our shopping budget and waived a bulk order fee allowing us to spend all the donated funds on much needed food. In all, Locals Y010, Y011, Y023, Y017 and Y024 and Y034 made donations which, when matched by YEU totalled $6500. Thanks everyone!


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