This is the time of year when our thoughts often turn to the plight of those less fortunate.
There can be any number of reasons – at any time – why an individual or family may end up in need, but it always seems to be magnified this time of year.
The family breadwinner – or in some cases, breadwinners – may have lost their job, been injured or fallen victim to illness. Or, as is sadly the reality in far too many households, there’s simply too much month left at the end of the money.
In addition, many jobs in an agricultural area such as ours tend to be seasonal in nature – and part of the reality of seasonal employment is seasonal lay-offs.
We’re sure announcements of business closures aren’t deliberately scheduled to happen just before Christmas, but there’s no question a lot of them do take place at this time of year – which, if it is a coincidence, is a tragic and unfeeling one.
And while job losses are terrible any time of year, they convey particularly tragic news right now, with Christmas and winter both right around the corner.
If there is a reality in today’s society, it’s that the use of places like food banks takes a spike this time of year, even without factoring in business closures and job losses.
Another reality is that, in Nova Scotia as whole and here in the Valley in particular, when someone is experiencing hard times or family tragedy, we’re ready and willing, as a community, to dig deep to help out, even for someone we barely know.
Hardly a week goes by that there aren’t several notices in the events section of these newspapers for benefit concerts, meals or other events. These events are always well-attended, and usually result in a substantial financial windfall.
It’s something that is truly endearing, even heartwarming, and something we can only hope is never lost, both locally and further afield in our province and region.
In the Dec. 11 edition of the Kings County Advertiser, it was reported that two local food banks received a holiday boost from shoppers at the Kentville Foodland.
Over a three-week period, shoppers voluntarily donated funds toward the Kentville and Canning food banks. When all was said and done, $8,901 had been raised, more than tripling the amount realized last year.
It should also be noted that Kentville realized the largest total of any participating Foodland outlet. Middleton, another Valley location, was second on the list. Of the total, the Canning food bank will receive $5,500 and the Kentville food bank $3,401.
Putting the donation into perspective, the funds Canning will receive represent fully one-fourth of their annual budget. For Kentville, a larger facility serving a more populated area, their donation is worth about a month-and-a-half of operation.
Kentville Foodland owner/operator Aaron Cossaboom confirmed the money raised through the initiative was more than double their original goal.
He felt the impetus came from the store’s customers, “because they know there’s a need locally and they want to help out.”
No one should be really surprised at that. After all, that’s the way people are around here. And when the going gets tough, we do what needs to be done.