Food bank supporting community through multiple initiatives

The food bank is working to raise funds and awareness for programs.

The Chestermere Food Bank is continuing to support families throughout the summer months and working to raise funds for a new facility.

“During the summer months, we face some challenges with volunteers on vacation and with the drop in donations,” Chestermere Food Bank president Laurie Dunn said. “Our staff do an amazing job of keeping things organized to ensure that no one goes without the help they need.”

Typically, the number of food bank clients decreases in July, because of free breakfasts that are available throughout the month. However, the food bank has many new clients accessing programs, due to the high cost of living.

Throughout the summer, the food bank continues to run the After the Bell Program which provides healthy snacks to students who are not able to utilize school programs.

“The schools do a fantastic job during the school year to keep our shelves full with their many initiatives,” Dunn said.

Food bank volunteers also maintain several plots in the community garden that provide fresh produce to add to food hampers.

“We tend to see the same pattern each summer,” Dunn said. “Donations definitely decrease during the summer. The Food Bank is not top of mind when the sun is shining, and people are enjoying their vacations and other outdoor activities.”

Currently, there are no food drives planned, however, the team is organizing a Charity Golf Tournament in September at the Lakeside Golf Club.

The tournament would raise awareness of the food bank’s role in the community, and raise awareness of the programs offered, while also raising funds to build a new facility.

Sponsorships are still available, and spots are open to golf. To register for the tournament visit, https://www.generoussolutions.com/e/chestermere-regional-food-bank-golf-tournament-758.

Cash donations are accepted through atbcares.com, where ATB will match 20 per cent of every dollar donated which increases the value of individual donations.

The food bank will be running a 50/50 raffle leading up to the tournament, where the winner will be drawn during the evening activities.

Proceeds from the raffle will also go toward the new facility.

“It is important that the community is aware of the programs we deliver and what resources are available,” Dunn said.

In addition to the tournament, the food bank is also promoting the Backpack Program which provides school supplies for families who do not have the means to do so.

Donations for the program include gender neutral backpacks, duo tangs, loose leaf paper, Hilroy notebooks, pencil cases, pencil crayons, pens, highlighters, white erasers, glue sticks, metric rulers, and calculators.

Donations of school supplies can be dropped off in any of the food bank bins throughout the city or directly at the Food Bank.

To access the program, visit http://chestermerefoodbank.ca/backpack-program/.

Volunteer opportunities are available at the food bank. Anyone interested in volunteering is encouraged to visit, http://chestermerefoodbank.ca/volunteer-opportunities/.

“I would like to thank the community for their ongoing support,” Dunn said.

The food bank is always accepting food donations. The current wish list includes soda crackers, salsa, condiments, jam or jelly, kid’s snacks, dog and cat food, paper towels, laundry soap, and all-purpose cleaner.

For more information on programs or wish list items, visit the food bank website at http://chestermerefoodbank.ca/.

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