Wetaskiwin Salvation Army Food Bank (submitted/ Melissa Mailman)

Wetaskiwin Salvation Army Food Bank (submitted/ Melissa Mailman)

Wetaskiwin Salvation Army is ready for the holidays

The festive spirit is upon the community and the local food bank, Wetaskiwin Salvation Army, is ready to serve those in need this holiday season.

While they prepare and accept donations year-round, Wetaskiwin Salvation Army Community Ministries Officer Melissa Mailman says that December is their most active month when it comes to community donations.

The Christmas time donations are more than welcome, especially as food bank users are on the rise states Mailman.

This year with the rising cost of living Mailman says she has seen many new faces needing the food bank.

“It’s kind of heart breaking to see that.”

However, the Salvation Army’s new food bank model makes it easier for anyone needing to access it get food on their table.

While they will request a name and address Mailman states this is for statistics purposes and shoppers will not need to prove their income or need levels to receive help.

In addition to this the food bank has adopted more of a general store style where a food bank volunteer or worker will walk you through the shelves and help you select necessities. There is also now a meat menu as well.

Mailman says this change allows for more individualized choices versus pre-packaged options.

She states it is important, “to give that dignity of specifying what you can and will use.”

There has been plenty of positive feedback from the community with this method so far.

Just before the holidays Mailman said shelves at the food bank were looking bare. However, a big help to restocking came in the form of Christmas lights and live performances as the CP Holiday Train rolled through Wetaskiwin for the first time since the start of the pandemic.

READ MORE: CP Holiday train returns to Wetaskiwin

Not only did CP donate $4,000 to the Wetaskiwin Salvation Army, but the crowds that gathered collectively donated around 850 lbs of food the night of the Holiday Train.

This Christmas they also received a donation of $1,000 from the Wetaskiwin Lions Club.

While there has been an increase in donations in conjunction with the season of giving, Mailman encourages people to make donations in the new year, especially around February, when the need to fill the shelves will round again.

She says something that is always appreciated is when people call ahead and ask what they need at that moment which helps them prepare for everything people need as they come in.



shaela.dansereau@pipestoneflyer.ca

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