BC FORUM News - from The Advocate, Spring 2016
Feeding hope for a better future
Every day in British Columbia, far too many people are forced to turn to food banks to feed their families,” says John Radosevic, President of Protein for People and a member of the BC FORUM Board of Directors.
“They’re people like you and me. Through bad luck or misfortune they’ve lost their jobs, or work several low-paying jobs that just aren’t enough to make ends meet,” he says. Food banks are struggling to meet the high demand. The protein that is required in a healthy diet is in especially short supply.
Unions and the United Way got together to establish Protein for People as a non-profit society in 2006.
BC FORUM is proud to support this work as a member organization of the society.
“We saw it as an opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives,” says Radosevic.
“There are now 35 unions participating. Together we are helping food banks meet the need by subsidizing shelf stable protein foods. “This allows food banks to save money and maximize their ability to help people.”
Last year, Protein for People provided canned salmon with a retail value of $375,000 to BC food banks. By leveraging union donations, the society saved food banks $264,000.
“This year, by starting to provide peanut butter, we expect to boost our total output of shelf stable protein to more than $500,000,” says Radosevic.
The partners in the society realize that food banks are a symptom of the shortages of an economy that leaves too many people vulnerable.
“Community leaders from unions and food banks are working together to find solutions. We are working to ensure that no child, family or community needs food banks. People need real choices and good jobs that feed them, their families and their community,” says Radosevic.
That’s why Protein for People each year hosts several forums which bring together those who use food banks, union volunteers, and service providers in a community event. In the last five years, more than 10,000 people have attended.
“The forums are an important part of our outreach. They are about connecting people with solutions, as well as sharing food and music together,” he says.
For more information please visit the Protein for People Project website at www.proteinproject.ca and “like” the Protein for People Facebook page.