Don’t be surprised to find a yellow bag at your south Red Deer home this week.
The bag allows south side residents to make a non-perishable food donation that will be picked up Saturday between 10 a.m. and noon.
The cupboards are getting very bare at the Red Deer Food Bank. Alberta’s economic downturn has been challenging for central Alberta families and many have turned to the food bank for help.
“This past year, the Red Deer Food Bank helped more than 20,000 people (through the hamper program),” says Alice Kolisnyk, the group’s deputy director.
“The food is going out as fast as it’s coming in. We always see an increase in donations at Christmas, but those donations are depleted now.”
A spring food drive organized by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Red Deer has become an important way for the food bank to restock its shelves.
Bags will be delivered to the doorsteps of homes on the south side of the city this week and they will be picked up Saturday and delivered to the Red Deer Food Bank.
“The spring food drive is absolutely crucial for us,” Kolisnyk says. “So many families need help to make ends meet – 35 to 40 per cent of our clients are children.”
Last spring’s food drive brought in about 14,500 pounds of food.
In March of this year, the food bank helped more than 1,400 people through the hamper program, which shows demand is steady, said Kolisnyk.
“It hasn’t decreased at all and it’s comparable to last year.”
She encourages Red Deerians in the south end to support the food drive, adding it’s such an easy way to help.
“Because all you need to do is fill that yellow bag with the food that you’re going to donate and it will be picked up.”
Anyone who does not receive a yellow bag can bring donations to the Bower chapel at 3002 47th Ave. between 10 a.m. and noon Saturday.
“We do a fall food drive in the north half of the city, and a spring food drive in the south half of the city every year,” says Allison Strate, Red Deer Stake Food Drive co-ordinator.
“Red Deer citizens have been very generous, and together, the two food drives typically bring in between 18,000 and 20,000 kilograms of food.”