Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Red Deer Food Bank set for summer food drive

The Red Deer Food Bank will be hosting its annual summer food drive on July 24.

With an increased need in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization said its vital to get support from the community in the coming weeks.

“We’re seeing people who have never used the food bank before come in,” says Donna Gratton, Administrator at the Red Deer Food Bank.

“Thanks to the generosity of Central Albertans, we’re holding our own. The shelves are not completely stocked though and we’re counting on the summer food drive to help us make it through summer.”

Gratton noted that canned vegetables, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, and canned dinners like beefaroni and hearty soups are particularly needed now.

“Our usage numbers have been steadily rising since the start of the pandemic,” Gratton added. “Unfortunately, I believe we’re going to continue to see more children and families need help from the food bank in the months to come.”

Starting on July 19, volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Red Deer will drop off bags at houses in the south end of the city, for residents to fill.

They will be picked up between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. Saturday and delivered to the food bank.

Anyone who does not get a yellow bag in their mailbox can bring donations to the Bower chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between 10 am and noon on Saturday. If people are interested in volunteering, they can contact Alison Strate, the Red Deer Stake Food Drive Coordinator at hodderstrate@gmail.com.