Food demand rising

The Red Deer Food Bank Society has seen a dramatic increase in demand since this time last year.

The Red Deer Food Bank Society has seen a dramatic increase in demand since this time last year.

In July 2008 the food bank served 324 adults, compared to 774 this month. There were 406 children served in July 2008, compared to 532 in July 2009. The numbers were expected to increase more before the final official tally at the end of the day Friday.

For the year so far the food bank has seen a 60 per cent increase in demand, said Fred Scaife, executive director of the Red Deer Food Bank.

“Obviously it’s the economy,” Scaife said. “More people are coming to us now because they have been laid off statistically more than ever before.”

The food bank is in need of pasta, pasta sauce, canned meat and rice. Cash donations are also useful because then the food bank can buy the essentials in large quantities at a discount.

“I don’t think the trend is going to change, but what we’re hoping for is that we’ll hit that glass ceiling where we’re finally getting to everybody who needs help and not have substantial increases from month to month,” Scaife said.

The increased demand has meant the food bank has had to do some adjusting to stretch critical items further.

He said instead of putting two pasta sauces into hampers for single people or couples they’ve dropped it down to one. Things that were once extras, such as sardines, are more controlled and count as a canned meat item.

Scaife said the food bank has a six-week supply of food. In the past it would have had an eight to 10-weeks.

Scaife said in the past the top reason for people going to the food bank was because they had a low-paying job or were on social assistance and didn’t have enough money to cover their food needs. Scaife said the No. 1 reason now is as a result of being unemployed, the same for the past three months.

“People should understand it’s not an easy situation for these people,” Scaife said. “They’ve quite possibly never been here in their lives and were contributors in the past. So many of us are just one short step away from this place.”

A number of fundraisers are coming up in September, such as Operation Food Lift at the Red Deer Airport. Until then things will be pretty tight.

“There are food boxes in every grocery store. It becomes more important people recognize what they are and what they are for,” Scaife said.

Just Posted

One strong wind leaves years of replanting work for Red Deer parks staff

High visibility boulevards already replanted, neighbourhood work starts next year

Red Deer-area indigenous filmmakers invited to apply for $20,000 grant

Storyhive launches Indigenous Storyteller Edition

Restaurant closed after compliance team patrol

Public Safety Compliance Team checked eight bars and restaurants on Oct. 19

Red Deerians await local cannabis stores

So far 31 stores in Alberta awarded licence to operate

Rimbey RCMP seek missing man with health concerns

Has anyone seen Bill Harris of Ponka County?

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Montreal Alouettes defensive lineman Woody Baron co-authors children’s book

TORONTO — Woody Baron finds the spectre of tangling with a hulking… Continue reading

Sundin not surprised Leafs asking stars to take less money to stay together

TORONTO — Mats Sundin isn’t surprised the Toronto Maple Leafs are asking… Continue reading

Anywhere but Washington: Why DC stories rarely film in DC

WASHINGTON — It’s a hobby among District of Columbia locals: Picking apart… Continue reading

‘Halloween’ scares up $77.5 million in ticket sales

LOS ANGELES — Forty years after he first appeared in theatres, Michael… Continue reading

iPhone XR makes the right trade-offs for a cheaper price

NEW YORK — Apple offers you a simple trade-off with its new… Continue reading

BMW to recall 1.6 million vehicles worldwide over fire risk

FRANKFURT — Automaker BMW says it is expanding a recall to cover… Continue reading

Calgary awaits federal financing on 2026, Notley suggests IOC could pay more

CALGARY — With the clock ticking towards a Calgary vote on hosting… Continue reading

Toronto Mayor John Tory cruises to victory; tech issues extend voting elsewhere

Toronto Mayor John Tory easily won re-election on Monday after a spirited… Continue reading

Most Read