With inflation rates increasing the price of food and cost of living, the Red Deer Food Bank is experiencing increased demand.
“Demand has not slowed since Christmas,” said Mitch Thomson, executive director.
“Our year-over-year comparison of March 2021 to March 2022 saw an increase of 63 per cent in emergency hampers distributed – 943 of these hampers left our facility that month, over and above the approximate 300 users per day who visit our Pantry.
“When looking at the whole first quarter, our first three months of 2022 saw a 54 per cent increase in hamper distribution.”
The Red Deer Food Bank has been able to handle the increased demand through donations from Central Albertans. One of the major supports for the organization is the Spring Food Drive, organized by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which will take place Saturday.
“This year’s spring food drive is even more valued, because it comes at a time of increasing need,” Thomson said.
“With rising food prices, shortages in the supply chain, and continued stresses in the economy, we don’t anticipate that to taper off any time soon.”
Bags were delivered to the doorsteps of homes on the south side of the city last week. They will be picked up Saturday between 10 a.m. and noon and delivered to the Red Deer Food Bank.
All south-area residents are reminded to support the food bank by leaving a food donation on their doorstep on Saturday. Anyone who does not receive a bag in their mailbox is welcome to bring donations to the Bower chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (3002 47 Ave.) between 10 a.m. and noon.
“It takes hundreds of volunteers to run the annual food drive,” said Jennifer Martens, Red Deer Stake Food Drive co-ordinator.
“It’s wonderful to see the community come together to support the food drive and the Red Deer Food Bank, so they can do the important work they do to ensure everyone has food to eat.”