By: Justin Seward
The County of 40 Mile Food Bank is always making an effort on an annual basis to help feed those people that are less fortunate in the area.
This year has been no exceptions because food has been consistently filling the shelves, thanks to the generosity of local citizens dropping off donations into the bins around town.
“We have great community support,” said food bank president Rob Van Roessel.
“There are food bank collection sites in the local grocery stores and many community events use food bank donations at the door in lieu of a door charge.”
Food donations come in many varieties and if some bins are getting low, then the community money contributions will kick-in to replenish the stock.
“Food supply comes in different forms,” said Van Roessel.
“Our non-perishable and frozen foods are stored in the facility in the basement of the St. Michael’s Church Rectory. Those stocks are replenished from community food donations as well as cash donations. The hampers that go out consist of a nutritionally balanced food supply.”
Van Roessel added the nutritionally balanced food supply is a combination of certain non-perishable items that are not in stock need to be purchased as well as perishables like fruit, bread and milk.
“All the purchased food supply comes from local groceries in Bow Island and Foremost,” he said.
“Every attempt is made to use community cash donations to purchase locally to keep the dollars in the community.” A one month supply would be considered a full food bank, he said.
The food bank has been actively working on getting more involved on social media with the busy holiday season nearing.
“We had almost an immediate response through Facebook to request for frozen beef this fall,” he said.
“We are looking to build on that success to CO-promote events that have food bank collections or fundraising associated with them. We are working closer with FCSS now to make sure the whole county is covered by the food bank, so our activity level is up to near record levels this year.
“We are also trying to establish better communication with food banks in Medicine Hat, Taber and other nearby communities to increase efficiencies in sourcing donated food supplies and improve our public relations and communication.”
The food bank distributed 5,420 kilograms of non-perishable food and 2,000 kilograms of perishables last year.