With a rapidly expanding population and a provincial-wide cooling of the energy sector, the Blackfalds Food Bank is in need of donations.
Families and individuals routinely rely on the essential service year-round and have been accessing the food bank even more so over the past few months.
During the month of January, the food bank noted a substantial increase in usage and the trend has continued well into the month of February.
“We had a big increase in January,” said Jeanette Edwards, Blackfalds Food Bank chairperson and frontline worker. “It was double what we had last year. February has also increased.”
Food bank organizers are unsure what exactly is causing the increase in demand of the Food Bank services, but Edwards wants to make sure that the demand is met.
“A lot of people were laid off from their jobs and need to access the food bank,” she said. “We want to do as much as we can for them.”
According to Food Banks Canada, a 15.7% increase in food bank usage in Canada has been noted in 2014 compared to 2013. The Blackfalds food bank is noting almost a 50% increase in demand compared to last year.
Although the need is not critical, the shelves of the food bank are getting sparse and donations are being sought to continue to serve the Blackfalds area.
“We are in need of Kraft Dinner, boxed cereal, noodles, canned pasta, spaghetti and Chef Boyardee,” said Edwards.
The Food Bank is also seeking donations of packaged cereals, like oatmeal.
“There is a lot of demand and there are certain things we are running short on,” said Edwards. “Any help is greatly appreciated.”
The need for volunteers is also being emphasized as more hands for sorting and distributing donations can make the Food Bank run more smoothly.
“We have a list of volunteers but we are always looking for more,” said Edwards.
To make a food donation to the Blackfalds Food Bank, donation bins are located at After the Grind, the Blackfalds Library, Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) and the Abbey Centre.
Applications to apply for the access of the Blackfalds Food Bank can be found at the FCSS office (5016 Waghorn St.) Those who wish to volunteer can contact FCSS or Edwards at 403-885-4008.