Once the euphoria of the reunion at the airport is over, Syrian refugees coming to B.C. are often thrust in to poverty.
Director of the Muslim Food Bank Mainu Ahmed says it provides religious and culturally sensitive foods to newcomers, and he’s noticing an increase in refugee clients.
“With a lot of them English isn’t their first language or they don’t speak English at all, so the time that it takes to actually learn English to actually be marketable to get a job is quite long. In that process, they start falling through the cracks.”
Ariela Friedmann with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank says they also serve refugees.
“We’ve already noticed overtime that the members who come to the food bank has changed. There is a large immigrant population who come to the food bank, as well as seniors and families with small children.”
Government assisted refugees get around $700 a month, or $1,400 a month per family, under the resettlement assistance program for up to one year.
Most goes to cover housing costs, with little left for food.