The Beginning of Recovery Starts with Food
By Rebecca Thuro
We are continuing our conversation about connecting families through Food Bank Satellites. Today, we’re introducing you to another service partner that reaches men who might otherwise go without food.
Meet our friends at the George Schmidt Centre. This is a housing project by BC Housing that includes 30 units of self-contained apartments for men who have gone through recovery and treatment. The men are expected to maintain a clean and sober lifestyle and be employed, looking for work or receiving training or upgrading.
Invested in Recovery
The structure at George Schmidt Centre makes the Food Bank Satellite location have its own unique process. Brendan Wall, the Satellites Coordinator, says that the structure is needed for the men they help and that all the men are invested in each other’s recovery. Having the Satellite Food Bank at their location means the program no longer has to wait until they have a full van of people to head across town to the Abbotsford Food Bank.
2 Hour Transit Ride for Food
The location of George Schmidt is right beside Kinghaven Treatment Center on the outskirts of town. If a resident needed to access the Abbotsford Food Banks main location on their own they would have to walk 15-minutes to the closest bus stop and take an hour-long bus ride both ways. How many people think about enduring a two-hour-long drive so they can have a basic food supply? Needless to say, the men at this second stage housing are being fed because the barriers to basic human necessities are lowering.
The staff at George Schmidt are now seeing men who didn’t want to ask for help (but needed help), being fed. The familiar, quiet environment has been very good for men who would battle anxiety in the busyness and unfamiliar faces at the Abbotsford Food Bank location.
The Hungry are Fed
One tenant that has multiple mental health barriers, including post-traumatic stress from serving in the army, barely left his room. When he does, it’s to come to the satellite Food Bank for food. If the satellite was not located at the facility, Brendan is unsure if the man would eat. At this stage in his recovery, the satellite is a necessary tool for his wellness. Food is such a basic need and the beginning of all stages of recovery. Having the Food Bank Satellite ensures those who are hungry are fed.
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