It has been 25 years since Debbie Thomas stood in line at the food bank in Port Moody, but she still remembers the stares, the shame, and the crumbling loaves of bread.

Her daughter Sherri was just one year old when the weekly visits began, and Thomas had a second child on the way.

Thomas was on her own at 35 years old. After leaving an abusive relationship with the father of her children, she relied on welfare to get by. However, anyone relying on social assistance today will tell you that making ends meet on welfare alone is a near impossibility.

“I never thought that I would have to use a food bank,” says Thomas, who now lives in Surrey with her four children.