MAY 7 2016: Today, Alberta Food Banks launched an emergency food drive so people can easily donate the food needed to support the victims of the Fort McMurray wildfire.
Visit www.FeedAlberta.com to purchase food you want to donate and it will be delivered on your behalf directly to the food banks that are providing support to the displaced Fort McMurray residents.
The food items listed on the website are those most requested by the Wood Buffalo Food Bank, which serves the Fort McMurray community. It is believed at this time the food bank is still standing.
“So many people from across the continent have been in touch and expressed their desire to contribute food. This emergency campaign provides those supporters a direct and easy way to do that right now,” said Stephanie Rigby, executive director of Alberta Food Banks, which is the provincial association of food banks.
Since the evacuation of Fort McMurray on Tuesday afternoon, Alberta Food Banks, with the Calgary and Edmonton food banks, has been working closely with members of its provincial network to support the tens of thousands of displaced residents.
Arianna Johnson, executive director of the Wood Buffalo Food Bank and the volunteer board chair of Alberta Food Banks, is temporarily living in Lac La Biche, alongside thousands of other evacuees. There is a great possibility that her home has been lost and the homes of at least four of her staff and board members have been lost.
Despite her personal misfortune, Ms. Johnson is already thinking ahead to what will be required by her food bank in the weeks and months ahead.
“We know that people need emergency food assistance right now, but that they will need support in the weeks and months to come while the community rebuilds. We are going to need a massive amount of food to get our job done,” said Ms. Johnson.
“Fort McMurray is a resilient community,” she continued, “but the recovery period is going to take a very, very long time. With or without a physical structure, we will provide food to our community when we return home.”
Alberta Food Banks is using Amp Your Good’s online food drive system which enables people to donate food items specifically requested by food banks. The emergency food drive is designed to gather large quantities of fruit and vegetables as well as a variety of non-perishable staples.
The provincial association is currently coordinating food shipments to food banks in several Alberta communities helping fire evacuees – Lac La Biche, Athabasca and Boyle – but is also poised to assist food banks in St. Albert, Leduc, and Parkland County, where they are awaiting the potential arrival of more evacuees.
“We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of compassion and support for these food banks,” said Ms. Rigby. “This online campaign will ensure we have a steady supply of food to share with them and Fort McMurray.”