Due to economic hardships, local food banks are finding their services are being used much more than previous years andare they continue to look for more donations from the community.
Blackfalds Food Bank Chairperson Jeanette Edwards said this year has been the busiest officials with the food bank haveseen, but she added they are grateful to the community for their support.
“We are not even through the first six months and we have done almost more than half of what we did for the full year last year. I think it’s because of the economy; there’s no jobs. There’s all kinds of new people that are using the food bank now that have never used it before so we are seeing a larger increase that way.”
The food bank has seen an increase of hampers being used by those in the community, but thankfully there has never beena shortage of food – donations are always being given by businesses and members but Edwards said there is always roomfor more food and other items.
“Donate anything. Like pork, beans, fruit, vegetables, diapers – baby things,” she said. “We have a really good (relationship) with Pet Valu in Lacombe, they donate pet food for us. Then the pet grooming in Lacombe, if you take your pet to get its nails clip, they ask for four cans of people food which they distribute half way between Lacombe and Blackfalds.”
Edwards said the food bank tries to serve only the people of Blackfalds and the immediate surrounding area, just to be fairto everyone.
“We do just our area like Blackfalds and the surrounding area because if we start (serving) people from say Clive or Alix, thatis not fair to the people in our area that need the food bank.”
Officials with the food bank are hopeful they will always have enough food to help local families, and Edwards said they aregrateful to everyone who has donated and helped thus far.
“We hope we will have enough, we have a very giving community and we are very fortunate for that. A lot of people that have used the food bank are now giving back to the food bank, which is really nice. We are very fortunate that way and we have a good connection with a lot of the businesses in the area that do help us and we would just like to thank everyonethat has been helping, especially our volunteers. That makes it so much better, working with people you get along with – it really helps.”
If anyone is interested in donating items to the food bank, they are encouraged to visit the drop boxes located at the Abbey Centre, Family Foods, the Blackfalds Library and FCSS. The organizations will notify the food bank when the boxes are filled and the bank volunteers will pick them up.
“If people need hampers then they have to fill out forms there and then bring them to the food bank. They can give me a call and I just make sure I have a hamper ready for them when they come,” added Edwards. “Some people are really shywhen they come in and we just welcome them and tell them that this is what we’re here for.”