The Lacombe Community Food Bank and Thrift Store’s biggest time of need is during the holiday season and General Manager Millie Snow said they were able to meet that need in 2018 due to the generosity of Lacombe.
“People are really generous in Lacombe and I say that over and over again, but it is true,” Snow said. “We had a lot of individual people bringing food; we had a lot of food drives from churches from school and even the grocery stores were extra generous.”
Due to the economic struggles of Alberta, Snow said the need to support the Food Bank is even greater than ever. Going into 2019, the need will continue to be there.
“Right now we are good, but in another month or two we will be looking for mostly everything,” she said. “We do children’s lunches, so we always put in there granola bars, fruit cups, little chips and other goodies — as well as juice. Those are ongoing.
“In the hampers, we always give them peanut butter and jam, baking supplies if they want it, soap and toilet paper. We still need all of that — anything people use in their homes.”
Both perishable and non-perishable goods are needed at the Food Bank, but there are some items that they do not typically need due to ongoing donations from local business.
“Bread and pastries we don’t need a lot of because we pick up from the Sobey’s, No Frills and the Co-Op, but packaged rice and other stuff we could always use,” she said.
2019 is also the first year that the Food Bank and other charities have access to Lacombe FCSS’s recent homelessness study, however Snow — who was involved with the survey — doesn’t believe the actual need was quite represented by the study.
“I don’t think we got everyone. People don’t want to say they are homeless. There are people out there that are probably homeless that are staying with friends.” she said, adding that many people still come in for food that did not fill out surveys.
However, even with the added need — Snow believes Lacombe will continue to support the Food Bank and people in need.
“I couldn’t imagine it being any better. Churches support it; schools support it and businesses support it,” she said.
Currently, the Food Bank does not need day-to-day volunteers due to current commitments from their volunteer staff, but the Food Bank is always open to groups wanting to do food drives and other events.
“We do have the Rotary that comes once a month and we have had different volunteer groups do different projects,” Snow said.
She added, “I am hoping we can keep people happy with enough food and I think it will happen.”