Client Stories: True Stories of Who We Help
Below are stories of real life people the Melville & District Food Bank has provided assistance to. Names have been changed to protect the anonymity of our neighbours.
Helen - Pension Cheque Cut Without Notice
Helen has lived in Melville for the past 20+ years. She is a 75 year old widower. She pays for her needs with payments from her deceased husband's pension plan and monthly CPP cheque. In total she collects approximately $1300 a month and is diligent to live within her means.
Her monthly payments of $1300 cover:
- The occasional social outing.
Without warning in the spring of 2019, her CPP cheque was cut back $300. There was no letter, phone call, or any other warning from the Government of Canada.
Short $300 she cannot afford groceries for herself. She comes to the Melville Food Bank seeking assistance...
Joe - New Job. New Life. Broker Than a Joke In Melville
Joe has uprooted his life from Edmonton to work in Melville. He is a 28 year old Apprentice. Joe has had a tumultuous 3 years due to the oil slump in Alberta. In 2015 Joe had to shut down his business. Then was laid off twice in 2016, and once more in 2017. He's survived delivering pizzas, working the graveyard shift at The Gap and doing odd jobs.
His 4 year undergrad degree, 3 diplomas, fluency in 2 languages and other skills have been inadequate in finding steady work in Alberta.
Joe found work in Melville as a apprentice tradesman in hopes of a more stable financial future.
- Upon arriving in Melville, the costs of resettling were greater than anticipated.
- His training wages are 40% less than promised when he accepted the position.
- Joe's new roommate Brad loses his job 5 days before Christmas. Brad may not be able to pay his share of the rent for January.
- By Christmas Eve 2019 Joe doesn't have $1 in his pocket.
In Joe's own words, "I have been very broke at various times of my life. But never have I been so broke, while ironically being employed AND following a strict budget. It was like a terrible joke."
Joe survives on canned tuna and crackers until the first week of January when the Food Bank reopens. From Jan-April 2019 the Melville Food Bank supports Joe with a weekly food supplement.
Joe is now a fully fledged Tradesman and is able to support himself. He in turn supports the food bank when he can.
"I'm forever grateful for the support the Melville Food Bank provided me this past year. They got me through a very stressful and tedious time of my life."
Jane and Travis - Laid Off and Caring for Grandma
Jane and Travis are long time Melville residents. They have 2 children. Ages 3 and 8.
Travis is a welder but has recently been laid off. Jane left her part-time job a few months ago to look after her sick mother full-time. They've used up their savings paying for Grandma's medical expenses and are in need of help.
The Melville & District Food Bank steps up to provide them with enough food for their whole family and Grandma.
Our food supplement buys them time and breathing room.
- A month later Travis has started receiving EI cheques while he looks for work.
- Other family members have stepped up to help look after Grandma.
- Jane returns to part-time work.
- They are by no means out of crisis, but have it better managed.
Mission accomplished! A shortage of food due to financial strain is no longer their most immediate issue.
These are just 3 stories out of dozens of people we assist on a regular basis!
Please support our work by making a donation to the Melville & District Food Bank HERE