The Chestermere Food Bank overcame challenges in 2021 from the ongoing pandemic, implementing additional programs, and lack of space.
In 2021, additional programs were brought under the food bank’s umbrella from the Community Resource Centre such as the Good Food Box, Backpack Program, and Jacket Racket.
The food bank’s newest program, Adopt A Family, saw 29 donors sponsor families in the community and provide gifts for over 100 residents.
“The additional programs require additional resources, people, money, and space,” said food bank president Laurie Dunn.
Through the challenges that 2021 bought to the team at the food bank, several new volunteers and a client care coordinator eased the pressures on existing staff and volunteers.
Going forward, the food bank will be expanding the Diversity and Inclusion program that focuses on providing culturally appropriate foods to clients, continuing forging new partnerships, and hosting fundraising initiatives.
“We are also hoping to work with some community partners to facilitate the purchase or construction of our own facility which will not only house the food bank but also other support services and a community kitchen,” Dunn said.
A highlight for Dunn from last year was when the food bank ordered a new food bank transit van with the help of a grant available from the City of Chestermere and the Smile Cookie campaign.
“We have been fundraising for the past three years and now that we have the money, there are no vehicles available for at least six months,” Dunn said.
Throughout the year, Dunn and the food bank team heard nothing but positive feedback from residents who support the organization, and who use the services.
“We continuously strive to raise awareness of our programs and the need in Chestermere and surrounding area,” Dunn said. “Our benevolent community has never let us down.”