The Chestermere Food Bank has welcomed back in-house volunteers and is now working on different ways to increase food donations for the fall.
“Food donations have been down, but cash donations were unbelievable,” said the President of the Chestermere Food Bank, Laurie Dunn.
“As COVID-19 fatigue goes on and on, the need is still there, but it’s not foremost in people’s minds that people still need the food bank,” she said.
“We received grant funding and we’ve had to use that funding to shop for food,” she added. “It’s been trying for sure, there’s no doubt about that.”
The Chestermere Food Bank received donations through ATB Cares, and a doorstep food drive, where roughly 500 lbs of food was collected.
“The people who did donate, donated a lot,” Dunn said.
When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, the Chestermere Food Bank had to lay off a majority of their volunteers, while taking on the breakfast and snack programs originally ran through the local schools.
“That increased the volume that we were putting out with way less volunteers,” Dunn said.
Moving forward, Dunn and members of the Chestermere Food Bank have had to find creative ways in collecting donations.
“The schools are big for food drives in the fall, but I don’t anticipate any of that is going to happen. Normally all of the schools would do a food drive in the fall, we haven’t heard yet,” Dunn said.
“We’re trying to get a bit creative, and we’re looking into online raffles in support of not-for-profits,” she said.
The Chestermere Food Bank is taking over the city’s Good Food Box Program.
The food bank will administer and be the depot for the Good Food Box Program, and the program is expected to be running for September.
In addition to the Good Food Box Program, the Chestermere Food Bank is also collecting school supply donations.
“People can drop off school supplies. We’re trying to get people to donate pencils, pens, paper, rulers, and erasers,” Dunn said.
Food, and school supply donations can be dropped off at donation bin locations such as Lake City Cannabis, ReMax Key, Scotiabank, Safeway, No Frills, ATB, or directly at the Chestermere Food Bank.
School supply donations can also be dropped off at the Chestermere Food Bank. However, anyone donating is asked to call at 403-273-0777 or email to schedule a drop off time or schedule a pick-up time.
For more information, please visit the Chestermere Food Bank website at http://chestermerefoodbank.ca/.