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Sunday, December 13, 2009


This is fairly lengthy but I encourage people to read on and comment.

On December 1st the Salvation Army in Nanaimo, under the guize of promoting dignity, implemented a $1.00 charge for its lunch program. I have to ask is that what they believe a persons dignity and self worth is? This is another shameful act on the part of one of the biggest and richest global NGO's on the planet, an organization that posess so much wealth it should never have to panhandle to the public again.

I have been helping protest with a small group of Advocates, Community Awareness Cllective, headed up by Wallace Malay by collecting and distributing pennies to those who cannot afford the new $1.00 charge. After the first day or two the S/A said they would no longer take the pennies unrolled and were turning people away.

I e-mailed the following to a friend who has a number of lists and touched a nerve in the BC Division Head Office.

Good day. Some may and others may not realize that the Salvaation Army has recently started charging $1.00 for lunch when for the past 6 years it has been free. It is also useful to know that about 6 months ago they also started charing $2.00 for their dinners, they to were free for aprox. 6 years. This is an organization that takes in untold thousands and millions in donations and yet they want the poor to fund their programs as well.

Part of the Salvation Armies rational for charging for lunch is that they feel it will increase the persons self worth and dignity by contributing. In reality what it will do is remove one of the very things from the reach of the poorest of the poor that keeps them alive, many will be reduced to panhandling or other means to obtain the cost. In a province that has had the highest child poverty rates six years running, the implementation of the cost for lunch and dinner will only serve to push those in need further into the depths of poverty. Attached is a poster from a group trying to raise pennies for the poor and giving them to people so they can get a lunch. Please express your disappointment at the Starvation Armies policies by calling their offices at the following numbers;

Community Services: 250 754 2621
New Hope Centre: 250 714 1142
Admin: 250 753 8834
PS. Just informed that the Salvation Army has been telling people they will not take the pennies unless they are rolled. This is to put it mildly Bull Shit. Please call the above numbers, e-mail Rob Anderson or Martin McCarter or mail thier administration offices at 505 Eighth Street, Nanaimo, BC V9R 1B5 and speak out.

You can also contact and express your disgust with this new policy:
Major Brian Venables
Divisional Secretary for Public Relations and DevelopmentBritish Columbia Division
Address:The Salvation Army 3833 Henning Drive, Burnaby BC V5C 6N5
Phone: (604)296-3821
Fax: (604)291-0345
Cell: (778)227-7291

I will say one thing for him he did gaurantee that people would not have to roll the pennies. So on the protest goes and has served an average of 50 people daily by giving them the funds to access lunch. If you wish to donate drop your pennies off between 10:30 and 1:30 at the Vault Coffee Shop on the corner of Wallace and Albert St. downtown Nanaimo.

Below are links to the Nanaimo Daily News stories and letters to the editor on the subject.

News Stories

Penny protest targets $1 Salvation Army lunch fee
Cost designed to reduce problems with neighbours
Penny protest targets $1 Salvation Army lunch fee (1)
Penny protest.......(2)
Dustin Walker, The Daily News
Published: Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Darrell Bellaart: Pennies are welcome
Darrell Bellaart: Pennies are welcome
Darrell Bellaart, The Daily News
Published: Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Letters to the editor

Salvation Army should not charge for lunches
Edith Cartwright, The Daily News
Published: Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Costs should not come from those most in need
Wallace Malay, The Daily News
Published: Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Salvation Army decision not based in Christianity
Madeline Bruce, The Daily News
Published: Thursday, December 10, 2009

Buck is better spent on a meal than on cigarettes
David J. Payne, The Daily News
Published: Friday, December 11, 2009

Salvation Army's reasons don't make sense
Gordon W. Fuller, The Daily News
Published: Saturday, December 12, 2009

All the needy should not be painted the same
Andre Mollon, The Daily News
Published: Saturday, December 12, 2009

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