The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “food banks

Be It Resolved

Posted on December 31, 2013

New Years doesn’t quite retain the deeper cultural meanings it used to possess years ago, but it still carries quite a punch.  Growing up in Edinburgh, Scotland, some of my most vivid memories swirl around New Years Eve, the gathering of family and friends, community celebrations, and, of course, the singing of Auld Lang Syne.  There was a depth of humanity to its words that transcended the moment.  But there was a restrained sadness in its singing, a kind of brooding acknowledgement that the arrival of a new year meant having to deal with some of the more difficult realities of the one just expired. The words “Auld Lang Syne” could literally be translated as “old long since” and spoke of the passing of…

Dreamless Sleep

Posted on November 6, 2013

So it’s out.  No, not about the use of crack cocaine, or a new revelation on the Senate scandal. Following months of preparation, food banks across Canada have produced their annual HungerCount report.  Some in the media say it’s good news, that with the economy turning a corner we can finally see a decline in poverty.  That’s quite a stretch, and fortunately most of the media reported it for what it was: another indication of the entrenchment of poverty in the Canadian context that refuses to go away regardless of the state of the economy. The report concludes that food bank use has declined 7% in the last year.  However, much of that is regionally slanted, with many food banks facing continual increases.  Food…

Managing Poverty

Posted on March 29, 2012

After 25 years you’d think we’d be used to it. But by the time I walked into the food bank for the press conference for our 25th annual Spring Food Drive I sensed something different inside of myself. The number of families we were helping was huge (3660 a month in January), but that wasn’t it. Londoners had given enough food to fill a warehouse, but it wasn’t that either. The volunteers were bustling around the warehouse and front area, displaying a remarkable commitment to their community. Yet after a few moments observing them, I knew it was more than such an inspiring sight. And then it dawned on me. All this work, and generosity, and need, and struggle – we were managing poverty.…

How the Grinch Stole the Food Bank Christmas

Posted on December 8, 2011

It’s hard when the Grinch personally arrives and attempts to steal your Christmas spirit, but that’s just what happened at the London Food Bank’s annual Christmas Party for staff and volunteers this week. Following dinner we learned from our newly compiled statistics that for the first time in our 25-year history the number of families coming to us monthly had finally surpassed the 3500 figure. It was a landmark we hoped never to see but now it has landed with a thud in our community just in time for the holiday season. Worse still, it doesn’t bode well for the coming year. I then Twittered the news and it was immediately picked up by citizens and media alike. It was like this new development…

On Trial

Posted on September 30, 2011

This is the day we never fully realized would come. The London Food Bank holds a press conference kicking off our annual Thanksgiving food drive but also we commemorate our 25th anniversary as an organization. Who knew? A quarter of a century ago we were just trying to stem the tide of hunger that had predominated during the recession of the early-80s. Food banks were a phenomenon – started by citizens in a response to institutional and capitalist failure and adjustment. We opted for storefront properties or rustic warehouses meant to temporarily house us until the recession had run its course. The belief was that the institutions would pick up the slack once again when the economy improved. It never happened. In fact, everything…

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