SSCS’s Pemberton Food Bank staff are accustomed to being busy, but during the pandemic, the number of people who faced hunger grew to unprecedented levels. As businesses shuttered and employees were laid off, people who never thought they would require food bank services were looking for support. In a two-month period, the number of women accessing the food bank increased from 101 to 245, and Indigenous people seeking support grew from 121 to 402.
To help offset the skyrocketing cost generated by increased need, a benefit concert was hosted by WhistlerLive, Sea to Sky Gondola and the Hairfarmers. Whistler Blackcomb Foundation kicked off the May 15 event with a matching grant of $27,000, and concert goers bid on the opportunity to be one of only eight guests who could dine atop the summit while watching the Hairfarmers perform in person. The concert was streamed live, and viewers were encouraged to donate online.
Many other community members also rallied to support the ongoing need created by food insecurity, from individual donors and School District #48 to the Resort Municipality of Whistler and the Squamish Lillooet Regional District. Thank you to all who are helping battle food insecurity and feed our neighbours.