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Community struggles impact Wood Buffalo Food Bank

Due to government cuts in funding, the Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association is unable to run their successful Basic Shelf Program this year. The program graduates more than 50 students per year, taking them from low-income situations and molding them into active contributors in Wood Buffalo. Image supplied by the Food Bank.

Similar to the rest of Wood Buffalo, The Wood Buffalo Food Bank (WBFB) had a tough winter.

The economic downturn hit many people in the region, and most of them are turning to the WBFB.

Anna Noble, the Communications and Development Coordinator for the WBFB, says while they are meeting the demand, supplies at the food bank are down.

“As we’ve seen the rise and need continue to grow, donations have gone down. We think that is partly in due to the community. There are so many struggling right now; the more people are needing our services, and they’re not able to give as much.”

As a result, the WBFB announced the “Hamper challenge”.

Noble got the idea from a similar initiative the WBFB ran five years ago.

“I thought it was a good opportunity to showcase what goes into a hamper and how important donations are.”

She made modifications to the challenge, such as halving the hampers to two weeks’ worth of foodstuffs to maintain awareness this March.

Should things continue, the food bank may need to cut back on certain foodstuffs in each hamper to ensure every person in need has something to eat.

If you would like to help, Anna Noble said two kinds of donations can really help keep the shelves at the WBFB stocked this winter.

“Non-perishable items are great to give us, and as well as cash donations and those go toward purchasing any items that we run out of, and fresh items that go into hampers.”

You can drop off non-perishable foodstuffs in the bins in front of all participating supermarkets in Wood Buffalo, and make cash donations on the Wood Buffalo Food Bank website.