Back to school can be a difficult time for families that are struggling to make ends meet. The cost of school supplies, clothes, bussing and school fees can add up and many families rely on assistance from the Red Deer Food Bank to get through.
“We’re facing great need this time of year,” said Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank. “Back to school hits families hard.”
For the past eight years, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Red Deer have been working to help the Red Deer Food Bank restock its shelves to meet the needs of area families. More than 100 families will volunteer their time to deliver yellow bags to area residences in the north half of the City during the week of Sept. 11th and to pick up the food donations between 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 16th.
“We do a fall food drive in the north half of the City and a spring food drive in the south half of the City every year,” said Jennifer Stephan, Red Deer Stake Food Drive coordinator. “Red Deer citizens have been very generous and together the two food drives typically bring in between 18,000 -20,000 kg of food.”
North-area residents are asked to watch for the yellow bag on their doorstep this week and place their donations in the bags for pick-up on Saturday morning. If residents don’t receive a yellow bag and you’d still like to support the food drive, you can drop off your food donation at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints building at 8 Keast Way in Red Deer. Donations can also be given to the food bank directly.
The Red Deer Food Bank has seen a steady increase in demand over the past year. Many people are still struggling to find employment and meet their basic needs. There was almost a 10 percent increase in the number of food hampers handed out in August 2017 over August 2016.
“These food drives have become crucial for the Red Deer Food Bank,” said Kolisnyk. “It helps to restock our shelves, so we can meet the increased demand that comes each fall.”