Red Deer’s Alberta Motor Association was collecting donations for the Red Deer Food Bank at a time of great need.
The local AMA joined other association locations across the province for the third annual Stack To Sack Hunger Day, with a drive-thru food drive from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday.
“We’ve never been this busy in the eight years I’ve been here,” Gary Nichols, Red Deer Food Bank driver.
“We’re running low and the need is higher than it has ever been before. The price of groceries is incredibly high. Every little bit helps – that’s the bottom line.”
Nichols said the food drive got off to a bit of a slow start but began to pick up as the day carried on.
“For the hampers going out, we need everything we can get. We’re even open on Saturdays now just to try to help out that issue at hand,” he said.
According to AMA, Albertans now have the highest food insecurity in the country, with food bank use having skyrocketed by 73 per cent since 2019, which is more than double the national rate of increase. Since the AMA Fill Our Fleet campaign began in 2012, food bank use in Alberta has gone up 191 per cent.
Every month, 155,722 people in our province turn to this social service for help. That’s enough Albertans to fill Rogers Place roughly eight times over, AMA noted.
“The soaring cost of living means that families who were teetering on the brink are now being forced right off it,” said Jane Flower, AMA vice-president of corporate purpose.
“The need for help has never been more dire, so the need to give has never been more urgent.”
AMA centres will continue accepting nonperishable food donations until Dec. 16 and monetary donations online at FillOurFleet.ca.
AMA’s provincewide holiday goal is to raise $53,000 in monetary gifts and 23,300 pounds of nonperishables, which would push the campaign’s historical totals to $1 million in cash donations and 300,000 pounds of food.
“We appreciate that this isn’t an easy financial time for anyone right now,” said Flower.
“But if you can give, even a little, it can make a world of difference for the province’s most vulnerable individuals—people who could be your friends, neighbours or co-workers.”