Darlene Tuinstra serves residents a Christmas Eve meal at the Bread of Life Centre.

Bread of Life facing debt without donations

The Port Alberni centre hopes to meet their goal of $20,000 through donations by Dec. 31.

The Alberni Valley’s Bread of Life Centre is relying on donations from the community to meet their financial goal for 2017.

The centre needs to continue to receive donations until the end of 2016 or they will start the new year off short of what they need to sustain for the year.

As of Dec. 24 the centre raised $11,989 of their $20,000 goal through donations.

If the centre can’t raise the remaining funds by Dec. 31, board member Gary Bruton said they will roll into debt for 2017.

“We’d start next year behind, so we’d love to start fresh or ahead even a little bit,” Bruton said.

The Bread of Life has no income and no government funding. They receive a grant in aid assistance from the City of Port Alberni for garbage and water fees with their sole source of income being donations from the community.

Since 1983, the Bread of Life has been a place for residents in need to have a hot meal five days a week, receive personal items, baby supplies, companionship and resources.

The centre would like to increase their meals from five to seven days a week.

This would increase their budget by $10,000.

Last year the Bread of Life served more than 26,000 meals.

“That doesn’t count the people we feed on the free table, that’s at least 50 a day,” said Dawn McMillan, facility manager.

McMillan said the amount of people the centre serves each year is steadily going up.

“We need the money. We need the cash to make the bills. We get lots of food but that’s not paying to keep the building going,” McMillan said.

Renovations are also needed for the Third Avenue facility.

“My big thing now is the bathrooms,” McMillan said. “I would like the bathrooms redone because they’re not in the best shape.”

McMillan also hopes to revamp Cornerstone’s thrift shop that is connected to the Bread of Life.

Donations to the Bread of Life can be made at Canadahelps.org by searching Bread of Life, on their website at http://portalbernibreadoflife.weebly.com/ or by stopping into the facility at 3130 Third Ave.

Read more about the Bread of Life needing funding for a seven-day meal service here:

http://www.albernivalleynews.com/news/405491396.html