Here is some information about the proposed food bank for CUPE 3799. As Mitch Guitard said the other night, we are welcome to use the Prince George office of CUPE National located in the Parkhill Centre at Unit #214 – 556 North Nechako Road. I believe the office is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 2:00pm.
I see the mission of this temporary food bank as delivering nutritious food to members of CUPE 3799 who are experiencing a temporary food need due to the UNBC Faculty Association job action. As I said the other night, those who feel that they can give should give and those who need to take should take.
I did a bit of research today and the literature says that when selecting food for donation, to think about the meals you prepare for yourself and your family and what ingredients you would need. As we don’t have any refrigeration options, all donated food needs to non-perishable and don’t forget about cleaning products and personal hygiene products. Some suggestions for items include peanut butter, jam, cereal, oatmeal, juice boxes, soup, crackers, pasta, pasta sauces, coffee, sugar, flour, canned fruit, soap, toothpaste, laundry detergent, dish soap, etc.
Additionally, the reading I did suggests that people will only take what they truly need so I don’t feel the need to monitor or limit those seeking food assistance. They also suggested asking participants to leave their name and address in case of a food recall but I am not sure about collecting this information and will consult Mitch and Caroline.
Here is the link to the article I consulted on operating a food bank: http://www.foodbankrockies.org/wp-content/uploads/Tips-for-Organizing-and-Operating-a-Food-Pantry-Program.pdf
If you would like to donate food and can’t make the CUPE office hours, please feel free to contact me and I can shuttle it from the picket line to the office in the Parkhill Centre.
I am hopeful that the job action will have a swift and just resolution so this initiative may be short lived. I would suggest that if we have food available at the end of the job action, we open it up to all our members and any food that is remaining would be donated to St. Vincent de Paul.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to forward these to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.