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Whistler's food insecurity still 'at an all-time high'

WCSS' annual TOGETHER campaign wraps June 15
The Whistler Community Services Society's annual TOGETHER fundraiser for the food bank wraps June 15.

The COVID-19 pandemic may be in the rear-view mirror, but the need hasn't gone away in Whistler.

According to the Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS), food insecurity in the resort remains at an "all-time high."

"Getting healthy food into the hands and tummies of those who need it most in our community—that's where your donation today goes. It ensures we are able to keep up with community need and demand," WCSS said in a May 30 email newsletter.

There have been 13,600 visits to the Whistler Food Bank in the last 12 months, WCSS said in the newsletter. But each visit represents so much more than just a number.

"These people are community employees, friends, mothers, sons, daughters, fathers, cousins, neighbours—it could be any one of us who call this place home," WCSS said. "As such, we approach this work with great care and attention. Our purchasing systems ensure we get the most for our buck when ordering bulk, non-perishable items. Buying in bulk allows us to keep our costs as low as possible and thus makes your donation even more impactful."

But WCSS is not immune to the rising costs of food, and is experiencing the same inflation as everyone else.

To that end, the Whistler social service provider's annual TOGETHER fundraiser for the food bank is taking place now until June 15.

You can help right now by:

1) Making a donation now
2) Starting your own online fundraiser
3) Or texting FOOD to 30333 to donate $10 to WCSS.

"Your donation will ensure your neighbours, friends and fellow community members have uninterrupted access to inclusive, low-barrier healthy food options. TOGETHER we are combating food insecurity in our community," WCSS said in its newsletter.

In Whistler, food bank visits were up 87 per cent in 2020 over 2019, due to the pandemic and associated restrictions. That translated to about 1,400 monthly visits immediately after the onset of the pandemic. Visits to the food bank “levelled off” to about 500 per month in summer 2021—but were still nearly twice the pre-pandemic average of about 250 visits per month.

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