Monks see increased demand for food boxes

·2 min read

Great Enlightenment Buddist Institute Monks at the campus in Heatherdale received more requests for food box donations this month than ever before.

“They really pulled through,” said Venerable Dan about the group of monks who spearheaded the project. Enough funds were raised to offer 332 food boxes compared to the usual 200.

Venerable Dan said the monks were unsure if they would be able to roll out so many boxes, each filled with 10 of their signature puffy rolls, an assortment of dried goods and organic vegetables.

To raise funds they got creative. On top of fresh baked buns, they sold homemade apple sauce and eloquently decorated pen holders to support the initiative.

In the end the group was able to bake about 1,000 extra fresh rolls and provide a full box to each Islander who requested one.

Venerable Dan noticed more people seemed to reach out this year because they were impacted by the pandemic. He also saw more young people and single families requesting food boxes.

The monks have been donating and delivering food boxes for about two years now.

They try to offer food boxes every one or two months through the winter as Islanders seem to struggle a bit more this time of year. Venerable Dan said the group is looking to offer more food boxes this December.

Anyone looking to request a box should fill out an application which will be posted on the Facebook page ‘About Monks’ in December.

Venerable Dan said, after delivering so many this month, some additional funds or donations will be needed to support the December deliveries.

The monks were unsure if they would be able to go ahead with the project at all this year as they have, for the most part, been in a form of lockdown following strict policies to mitigate possible spread of COVID-19 within their residences.

Thanks to about 40 local volunteers they were able to organize the initiative without breaking their contact and isolation policies.

Rachel Collier, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Graphic