The shelves of the Leduc and District Food Bank are filling up again with another successful Fall Food Round Up.
This year, 17,679 pounds of food was collected in the door-to-door food drive Oct. 6. Another 3,900 pounds have been collected from local schools and Gert Reynar, executive director of the Food Bank, anticipates the total will be around 25,000 pounds once the rest of the schools and churches drop off their donations. Last year around 19,000 pounds was collected.
“This is phenomenal,” she said, noting further donations will come in as Christmas gets closer.
“Our donations start now and go to mid-January. After that, we have to start rationing” she said.
Between 100 and 150 families access the local food bank each month, but with each file having more than one person attached to it this means between 400 and 600 people are using the service to feed themselves.
“We get really busy depending on the economy,” said Reynar.
During booms, lots of people from out of province come to Alberta looking for work but when they’re resources run out, they turn to the Food Bank for help.
“There’s lots of jobs but I think a lot of them are more specialized so we’re seeing a lot of people from out of province.”
When there’s a downturn in the economy, more people use the food bank while trying to make ends meet until they can find work again.
While some food banks have started asking for less Kraft Dinner and more nutritious items or are considering offering more ethnic alternatives, the Leduc Food Bank will take whatever the community has to give.
“If you buy it and use it at your house, we can use it here,” said Reynar.
While considerations are made for health issues like diabetes or gluten-free diets, Reynar said there hasn’t been a huge issue with more ethnic requests.
Reynar said the Food Bank will also take monetary donations as that money goes to purchase the meat, milk and fresh fruits and vegetables that go into the monthly hampers.
Food donations can be dropped off in Leduc at Co-op, Safeway, No Frills, Giant Tiger and the Leduc Public Library. In Beaumont, donations can be left at No Frills and Sobeys and in Devon at Extra Foods and the Garden Market IGA.
Monetary donations can be made online at www.CanadaHelps.org. Tax receipts can be downloaded once a donation is completed and are sent by email immediately following the payment of your donation. CanadaHelps accepts donations by credit card (including Visa, MasterCard and Amex), by Visa Debit and Interac Online and PayPal or they can be taken to the Food Bank at 4810 49th Ave. in Leduc. The mailing address is P.O. Box 5008 Leduc, Alberta T9E 6L5.
“I want to give thanks to the community for their support,” said Reynar. “We couldn’t do this without the volunteers going out and collecting.”