Patti Larson is flanked by Cst. Gary McLaughlin and Jenna Fraser at the start of the Emergency Services Food Drive.

Poverty has many faces

Tim Collins / News staff

On the evening of Revelstoke’s annual Emergency Services Food Drive, Patti Larson, the program director for Community Connections, spoke to Revelstoke Review about the need for the food drive and it’s importance to the city’s food bank.

We asked her about poverty within the community. Given that the overt signs of poverty (homeless campers and panhandlers) seen in many urban centres seemed absent in Revelstoke, how desperate was the need for a food bank.

Larson took a few moments to respond, and when she did, it was with considerable emotion.

“What does poverty look like?” she asked.

Poverty doesn’t have a particular look. It could be you, or me…it could be anyone. It doesn’t have to be obvious. Sometimes it’s just the way people have to live when they can’t make ends meet.”

Larson added that the food bank sees a host of people who have found they just can’t manage.

“We see people come to the food bank who are working two or three jobs, but with the high cost of living, escalating rents, and the high cost of food, sometimes that’s not enough. It can be seniors in their 80’s, someone who has had a work injury and lost their income, single parent households– you just don’t know. And you don’t know that, one day, it might not be you.”

And perhaps, said Larson, more and more people are realizing that fact. It may be why over 300 people showed up to help with the food drive and why thousands give to the cause every year.

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