Veterans Food Bank struggling to stock shelves

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Veterans Food Bank struggling to stock shelves

Post by Trooper on Thu 27 Oct 2016, 14:06

Veterans Food Bank struggling to stock shelves

Posted Oct 27, 2016 8:01 am MDT Last Updated Oct 27, 2016 at 8:38 am MDT



As Calgarians struggle to get by in a tough economy, the trickle down is starting to have a serious effect on some of the city’s most vulnerable and needy.

Empty shelves line the Veterans Food Bank as the organization tries to keep up with demand.

Manager Marie Blackburn says this has been their worst year ever.

“This year has been a real struggle,” she explained. “Our hampers have increased at least 50 per cent. In September of last year we sent out 62 hampers, this September we sent out 114 so our numbers have increased significantly.”

Canned fruit, Jell-O and potatoes, things that accompany a meal, are what they need the most.

“We can use anything that comes in right now because we have between 350 and 400 Christmas hampers to build,” said Blackburn.

“We have never in the history of the food bank spent more than $10,000 in one year to purchase food for the Veterans Food Bank but this year we’ve spent close to $50,000.”

There are few ways to donate.

Food can be dropped off at the Veterans Food Bank or any Legion location, or call and the food bank will come pick up a food box.

The 10th annual Veterans Food Drive runs from Nov. 1 to 15.

Another way to help starts Saturday, with the official launch of the Poppy Fund Campaign.

“A lot of us think that our veterans are just elderly people but we have a lot of veterans coming in now that are coming in with smaller children, a lot of the younger single men are coming in as well and it’s mostly due to the economy and the layoffs,” explained Blackburn.

http://www.660news.com/2016/10/27/veterans-food-bank-struggling-stock-shelves/
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Bylaw officer orders Calgary woman to take down key part of haunted house used to raise money for vets

Post by Trooper on Thu 27 Oct 2016, 14:54

Bylaw officer orders Calgary woman to take down key part of haunted house used to raise money for vets

Damien Wood, Postmedia News | October 27, 2016 11:22 AM ET
More from Postmedia News

Bylaw cops want haunted house's tarps gone, owners say no

It’s Chrissy Oliver’s Halloween horror — neighbours and Calgary bylaw are trying to spook her out of plans to provide a unique trick-or-treat experience while raising cash for charity.

Oliver said that Tuesday afternoon while she and her husband, Jason, were in the backyard working on the elaborate haunted house they’ve set up around their Chaparral home annually for the past seven years, her sister-in-law brought back a bylaw officer.

The tarps along the front, back and side of her home — a key piece of the setup, which she does to raise money for the Veteran’s Food Bank — have to come down, Oliver says the bylaw officer informed them.

She said a neighbour complained to the city about the look of the tarps and potential safety issues, though it was the first she’d heard of it — no neighbour ever spoke to her directly.


Chrissy Oliver stands outside the elaborate haunted house filling her entire yard

“We’ll get about 5,000 people every single year, and the donations that we get for the Veteran’s Food Bank are just outstanding,” she said.

“It’s heartbreaking.”

“I can’t do it. I can’t take the tarps off — it’ll ruin everything,” she said.

“It’s a mystery (who complained). We have our suspicions — there are a couple of people on the street that are 311-happy,” she said, referencing the city’s complaint line.


Chrissy Oliver chats inside one of many tarp-covered rooms in the haunted house

But most folks on the street are supportive, Oliver said, noting that many help out with the elaborate project every year.

And several neighbours are now offering to help with any fines that might be levelled against the Olivers should they decide to open on Halloween night despite the scare tactics.

Oliver said that’s the plan.

Come Halloween night, the public will be allowed into what the Olivers have dubbed “Chaparral Asylum,” complete with a maze-like array of corridors and rooms that takes about half an hour to work through. At the end of the ordeal there is candy.

“The show is going to go on — we are not going to tear it all down,” she said.

“We’ll deal with the repercussions.”

Calgary bylaw was not immediately available to provide a statement.

http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/bylaw-officer-orders-calgary-woman-to-take-down-key-part-of-haunted-house-used-to-raise-money-for-vets
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10th annual Veterans' Food Bank fundraising campaign on until Nov. 15

Post by Trooper on Wed 02 Nov 2016, 06:28

10th annual Veterans' Food Bank fundraising campaign on until Nov. 15

Number of people using the service has nearly doubled compared to last year
By Dave Dormer, CBC News Posted: Nov 01, 2016 5:12 PM MT Last Updated: Nov 01, 2016 6:31 PM MT

As the 10th annual Veterans Food Bank campaign kicked off Tuesday, officials said the number of those using the service has nearly doubled from last year.

"It's been a really tough year," manager Marie Blackburn told CBC's The Homestretch.

"We've had double our hampers go out for most of the months throughout the year, and purchasing food over and above what we normally spend has increased dramatically."

September 2015 saw 62 hampers handed out, said Blackburn, a number that jumped to 114 this year.

Run by the Canadian Legacy Project from Nov. 1 to 15, the fundraising effort asks that non-perishable food items be donated at Crown Surplus (1005 11 St. S.E.), which will then be packaged into hampers and distributed along with a $400 gift card to support veterans, their spouses and dependents.

"Most of our food comes from generous Calgarians, schools, major corporations, a lot of church groups," said Blackburn.

Those who rely on the service receive a hamper and gift card every second month.


Financial donations can be made online to the Canadian Legacy Project or mailed to 210 - 1235 17th Ave. S.W., T2T 0C2. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

Clients of all ages

The faces of those receiving the hampers might not be immediately recognizable, said Blackburn.

"Most people think of our veterans as elderly people but we have veterans from 25-years-old up to our oldest veteran we help out is around 98-years-old," she said.

"We have a lot of young guys coming in, and one of the problems when they get out of the service is finding a job —and if they did find a job, keeping that job. With the economy the way it is, there's been so many layoffs," Blackburn explained.

"When they get to that point, where they don't have enough money to pay the rent or mortgage or put food on their table, that's when our service becomes available to help them out."


Veterans' Food Bank manager Marie Blackburn says demand for the service has nearly doubled this year compared to last year. (Monty Kruger/CBC)

Finding work after being in the military, especially in a depressed economy, can be tough for some, said Blackburn.

"When a veteran comes home from service, a lot of their skills that they've had to use for military use don't apply," she said.

A lack of work isn't due to a lack of effort, said Blackburn, noting one veteran the group is assisting has applied for work more than 300 times.

Financial donations can be made online to the Canadian Legacy Project or mailed to 210 - 1235 17th Ave. S.W., T2T 0C2.

With files from Monty Kruger and The Homestretch

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/veterans-food-bank-donate-1.3831977
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Re: Veterans Food Bank struggling to stock shelves

Post by Bruce72 on Wed 02 Nov 2016, 07:37

I salute Chrissy Oliver, sometimes a person must take a stand against stupidity. It's also been my experience that neighbours and by-law officers are morons more times than not.

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Re: Veterans Food Bank struggling to stock shelves

Post by BinRat on Wed 02 Nov 2016, 10:18

Agreed,
It's not like this Mystery House is setup all year, it's done just for Halloween
I think their neighbors should just get off the pot and Join in and help them

Or Live with it for the time it is up

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Airdrie firefighters host food drive for veterans

Post by Trooper on Fri 04 Nov 2016, 15:47

NEWS LOCAL
Airdrie firefighters host food drive for veterans

By Chelsea Grainger
Friday, November 4, 2016 12:13:51 MDT PM



There is still time to help veterans in need.



The Airdrie Professional Firefighters Association is taking part in a food drive to help stock the bare shelves at the Calgary Veteran's Food Bank, just in time for Remembrance Day.

The food drive is part of the Canadian Legacy Project, which has been supporting the Veteran's Food Bank since 2007.

“Our veterans are extremely important to all Canadians because what they have done for all of us,” said Marc Helton, spokesperson for Airdrie Firefighters. “We are doing this to show our respect and support this important group of people.”

Both nonperishable food and monetary donations can be dropped off anytime at all three Airdrie fire halls.

According to Joey Bleviss, spokesperson for the Veteran's Food Bank and CEO of the Calgary Poppy Fund, the Food Bank has never seen food stocks so low.

Demand for hampers is also on the rise, jumping from 80 a month earlier this year to 130 a month now.

Bleviss added the food bank, which is the only one of its kind in Canada, has lost a lot of support from corporate donors due to the downturn in the economy.

“Our goal is to assist those whose pensions don’t keep up with the rising cost of living,” Bleviss explained. “We’re also seeing a lot of younger veterans who’ve been laid off or caught up in the economic downturn.”

Helton said the Airdrie community has responded well so far.

“Donations are slowly coming in,” he said.“I would encourage anyone thinking of donating to a food drive to donate to the Veteran's Food Bank, especially with Remembrance Day approaching, and support those who have done, and are doing so much for all Canadians,” said Helton.

Councillor Allan Hunter, who is a National Service Officer with Veterans Canada and a strong advocate for veteran's rights, echoed Helton's sentiments.

“The word veteran and food bank should never be in the same sentence,” he said, noting veterans don't often ask for assistance.

The food drive will run until Nov.15.

Donations can also be made online at www.canadianlegacy.org/veterans-food-drive.

--With files from Postmedia Network.

http://www.airdrieecho.com/2016/11/04/airdrie-firefighters-host-food-drive-for-veterans
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