Red Deer Food Bank starts 2012 on positive note

The Red Deer Food Bank have had a successful year and are gearing up for 2012 with a strong budget.

Fred Scaife, executive director for the Red Deer Food Bank, is happy with how many people they helped out this year and said they didn’t turn anyone away.

“We had more food donations this year which ranged around the one to two million dollar range,” said Scaife.

“We could be plus or minus, but we did really well this year.”

Most of the donations are received closer to Christmas with the help from fundraisers such as the Stuff-a-Bus campaign and Charity Checkstop.

The food bank receives more food than cash donations every year, and Scaife said that cash is not always ideal.

“All that matters to us is to make sure the people who need help get fed,” said Scaife, “We don’t need a huge nest egg for next year.”

The budget for 2012 is estimated to be around $450,000 which will help pay the wages for seven to eight people as well as the operating costs of two vehicles, and the warehouse, which will contain $10,000 worth of food.

“We would like our cash donations to be a little more balanced with the food, but we can’t complain,” said Scaife.

The food bank is about 25% short of their target this year and Scaife said it is similar to last year.

Scaife also said if the food bank has a short fall it is easy for them since they have 12 months to make it up with fundraisers unlike the Christmas Bureau where they need lots of support during the Christmas season.

“We are right on track with the budget for the coming year and it is always hard to judge what will happen. For example our van that pulls our barbeque around broke down this year so it is hard to budget for everything that will happen over the next year.”

Scaife also said that they make most of their donations with the barbeque and that one local man was generous enough to donate a van to help them get their barbeque back out into the community.

“We are very thankful and it is huge for us to have our van back,” said Scaife. “We believe in the community and in helping make a difference in the lives of others.”

tsigurdson@reddeerexpress.com

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