Eric’s No Frills, Varico Foundation, Lake Ridge Community Church, Edward Jones, and the Chestermere Food Bank are raising funds to cover the cost of Christmas Food Hampers.
On Dec.14 after hours at No Frills, volunteers will shop and pack all the December food hampers to be delivered in time for Christmas.
“There are people going through job loss, relational breakdowns, strained finances, and mental health struggles. The food bank is just one example in our city that has seen an overwhelming increase in need. We can’t think of a better way to respond to the needs of our community than to feed them,” said Lake Ridge Community Church Ministry Support Leader, Tara Linsley.
Last year, the Chestermere Food Bank experienced a significant increase in clients from an average of 76 to over 450 per month.
“The Chestermere Food Bank is there for anyone who is facing a food emergency. The numbers are staggering, the need continues, and this very real struggle is happening in your neighbourhood,” Linsley said.
Last year, the Lake Ridge Community Church team was in a meeting with local not-for-profits, and the Chestermere Food Bank team had expressed concerns with the increase in food insecurity and the increase in clients, as many volunteers were limited in how they could help due to being in the high-risk category for COVID-19.
“When we started to dream about how we could help, it became clear we had a few reasons to care for our city, to gather several community organizations to raise awareness for the food bank, to give our city a boost with a feel-good way to get involved and a rallying point outside of ourselves in a time when we were all so separate,” Linsley said.
Adding, “That continues to be true this year for us as well. This year we had more time to invite the community businesses and individuals to get involved.”
The initiative last year was very well received, with residents asking to help volunteer, and the local business community wanting to raise awareness for the Chestermere Food Bank.
“The volunteer team at the Food Bank was able to take most of December and January off because of the work that was done last year to shop and pack everything. We started earlier this year and we are thrilled to include even more people in our city,” Linsley said.
The goal of initiative is not only to ensure residents have food through the holidays, but to also ensure residents know they are loved and seen, and the community is supporting them.
“We believe that helping people and serving each other leads to a healthier community,” Linsley said.
“A food hamper has less to do with a can of soup or a bag of rice, it’s sending a message from our city that when you are in time crisis you are seen, known, loved, and not forgotten,” she added. “It is a love letter to our city. We know and have experienced when we serve and help others, we get a gift too.”
Residents interested in volunteering to shop, pack the food hampers, raise awareness, or raise funds to cover the costs of the December food hampers are encouraged to visit lakeridgecommunity.com/forthefoodbank.
“The volunteers are always needed to ensure food banks stay open and this initiative allows for the Chestermere Food Bank to take a much-needed rest at the busiest time of the year so they can be there to serve the rest of the time when there is need,” Linsley said.