EDITOR: As our local Lions Club here in Souris winded up another year organizing, preparing, and delivering over 125 food boxes, including 24 non-perishable food items, a gift card or two, a complete turkey dinner with all the trimmings and most importantly, a present for all the children in those families up to the age of 18.
Our club had another wonderful year of donations that came in from the community, including individuals, businesses, and organizations from pretty much all of Kings County and beyond.
It is very important for people to realize this, though. It’s that we just don’t go to a grocery store and buy all this food at once. Volunteers watch the sales sheets weekly and we buy the items, over a two-month period. Otherwise, it just couldn’t be affordable.
Our problem is, and I think a lot of service clubs on P.E.I. experience the same thing, our club’s members are fast approaching an age where they can’t do as much as in the past.
I think that 2018 was our 33rd year doing our Christmas Boxes Campaign, and in my personal view of being chairman organizing it, something has to change.
Our provincial government has been bragging over the last 18 months of how well our economy is doing as well as our surplus of $75 million. In my opinion, the right thing is for our government to help these people have food and shelter all year round – not just at Christmas time!!! And now that money is available, what better time.
A program should be started to help the families with children, kids should not be going to school hungry and parents should not have to choose between medicines or food or rent.
This conversation seems to be coming up more lately, and one thing people say is that there would be too much abuse of this system, meaning people would use the money for tobacco, liquor, or worse. Well, why not do the same as they did years ago, make it in the form of food stamps that are forbidden to be used other than for food.
An election is coming up soon, so I must ask like-minded people to look for discussion on this problem in the candidate’s platforms.
I believe this government or the next has to focus on the needs of fellow Islanders who are just making it paycheque to paycheque, because these people have the children of the future. The children who are going to be, or have a better chance of being our doctors, nurses, teachers, etc. in the future generations.
Let's look after these children first before more millions are spent on non-essential highway rotary roads, arenas, etc.; or wasting our efforts appraising large companies with more water and acreage of land. Because when all is said and done, these companies will abandon us, but maybe our children will stick around and make our Island their home forever.