Help Ukraine Vancouver Island (HUVI) says it’s in crisis mode with donations down more than 90 per cent, and says it’ll be difficult to feed refugees during the holiday season.
In Dec. 2022, HUVI says they were helping 707 refugees settle on Vancouver Island by providing them with locations for housing and making sure their families could be fed through their frequent food banks.
However, the number of refugees on the Island has more than doubled to 1,459, since then, while their donations have dropped drastically.
“Just looking at what was donated at this time last year versus this time this year, that’s dropped by 94 per cent,” said Karmen McNamara, general manager at HUVI.
The drop in monetary donations has drastically reduced the frequency of how many times they can put on a food bank, and how much they give to each family. McNamara says they’ve began to give out half of the food they used to be able to.
“We were able to afford to spend $500 every two weeks for our food share program. We’re just now at a point where we can only afford to spend $500-$600 every six weeks on that program,” said McNamara.
The group is trying to raise funds to feed families, but they have only managed to raise around $2,500. The group says it’ll cost around $30,000 to feed all their clients through the end of January.
“It is something that they can’t get anywhere else and they’re coming every week, not because they get extra free food for their family, they’re coming every week because they don’t have any other options because they will not have food to feed their children,” said Anastasiia Konstantynova, project coordinator at HUVI.
The group is hoping that the public will be able to donate funds to feed families. Donations to the group can be made on their website here.