Officials with the Lacombe Food Bank say they are in good shape heading into the Christmas season.
So, far, the busy season is going well, said volunteer Jeanne Ebens.
“It’s been pretty good, we’ve had quite a few donations.” She added that the food bank’s food drive on Nov. 2 went very well and yielded 12,160 lbs. of food.
Ebens said the Lacombe Food Bank prepares between 32 and 40 food hampers for its clients per week.
Around Christmas that number can go up to between 40 and 48. Some days, the food bank can prepare as many as 18 hampers in a single day, Ebens added.
December means more donations are coming in as well, said Ebens, which also makes the food bank busier. While the organization is doing well for donations, more are always welcome. Ebens said specialty items, like cranberries, stuffing and in particular frozen turkeys, are sought after this time of year.
Many other local groups have food drives and food donation programs of their own that benefit the Lacombe Food Bank.
Lacombe’s Co-op and Sobeys grocery stores are among them and Ebens encouraged those wishing to donate to the food bank to support those programs.
Co-op supports the Farm Credit Canada (FCC) Drive Away Hunger campaign. Through this program customers can buy pre-made packages containing different foodstuffs pre-priced at different increments. Those packages are then delivered to the Lacombe Food Bank which uses them to construct their own hampers.
‘A Time for Sharing’ is the name of the Sobeys program. Sobeys co-owner Lynda Bouchard said the program began like FCC Drive Away Hunger, with Sobeys assembling little hampers of their own pre-priced at different increments that customers could buy which would then be donated to the food bank. Now, the program has evolved into something a little different.
Instead of buying pre-priced hampers, shoppers at Sobeys buy ‘gift tags’ in increments of $5, $10, $15 or $25. Customers write their names on the tags which are then displayed in the store.
All the money from the sale of those tags goes towards food bank purchases, said Bouchard. When the program comes to a close, Sobeys orders product for the food bank with the money from the campaign and the food bank receives cases of food to stock their shelves.