HP food bank hungry for continued support

High Prairie and District Food Bank assistant co-ordinator Brenda Sandford sorts food on the shelves. The food bank appreciates support for donations from the community.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Donations to the High Prairie food bank are being encouraged to help fill the needs in the community.

Staff at the High Prairie and District Food Bank had a hectic start to the year, co-ordinator Kim Dumont says.

“Last month was the busiest January in many years,” Dumont says.

However, she is not sure whether that indicates it will be a busy year for high demand.

“Each year is different,” Dumont says.

For the past two years, the food bank has distributed just over 300 hampers.

About 80 per cent of those are for people in the High Prairie region, which includes eight Indigenous communities.

She says about 20 per cent are for people in the Smoky River region in the Falher and McLennan area.

“Donations are usually slower in January and February,” Dumont says.

People are welcomed to donate food at local grocery stores.

Donation boxes are located in High Prairie at Freson Bros. and Super-A Foods, in Falher at IGA and Falher Co-op and in McLennan at Bigway Foods.

Top items needed for the food bank are:

  • Lunch snacks such and cookies, granola bars and fruit snacks.
  • Juice boxes.
  • Peanut butter.
  • Sugar.
  • Canned fruit.
  • Cereal.
  • Toiletries.

“It’s good that people donate sugar, flour and cooking oil so people can do baking,” Dumont says.

But recipients want more than just food.

“When you think of giving to the food bank, donate things that people use every day, such as toiletries, hygiene products, laundry soaps and feminine products,” Dumont says.

Economic challenges are the main reasons people apply for food hampers.

“A lot of people say they had a lot of increases in utility costs last year,” Dumont says.

“The main factors are job loss, death in a family and unexpected bills.”

The food bank appreciates the strong support in the past year.

“A lot of people stepped up to donate when were in crisis in May and June,” Dumont says.

Many organizations and community groups also help the food bank with food drives.

The food bank will apply for funding grants.

Annually, the organization requests funds from Big Lakes County and the United Way.

Dumont says the food bank will also apply to the provincial government for a Community Initiative Program operating grant.

Organizations can apply to that grant only every three years, she notes.

However, full funding isn’t always a sure thing.

“Even if we get approved, we usually don’t get the amount we requested,” Dumont says.

Town of High Prairie donated $3,723.23 to the food bank as the amount received from renting town-owned land in an agreement.

For more information on the food bank, contact Dumont by phone at [780] 523-5777 or please send an e-mail to kim@hpfoodbank.com.

Concert March 14

The High Prairie food bank is hosting a concert March 14 to fill its shelves.

An AC/DC tribute band will be centre stage as the High Prairie and District Food Bank hosts its annual major fundraiser at the Edmo Peyre Hall on the rodeo grounds.

“We’ve had good support from previous concert fundraisers and we were asked if we wanted to host an AC/DC band,” food bank and event co-ordinator Kim Dumont says.

About 350 tickets are on sale and she hopes the event will be as popular as previous concerts to boost the food bank.

“We’ve raised anywhere from $8,000, to $10,000 at our concerts,” Dumont says.

Tickets are $20 per seat and available at the food bank, Revolution Ford, Revolution Chevrolet and deSIGNS by Tam.

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