Food bank continues to face severe cash shortage

  • Feb. 25, 2015 4:09 p.m.

Facing the year with a severe cash shortfall, staff at the Red Deer Food Bank are hoping that spreading the word about the inner workings of the organization will help to spur donations.

YouTube postings, with the help of videographer Roger Bakes, are starting to be posted on a regular basis, said Fred Scaife, executive director.

“Typically, coming out of the Christmas season we get so much in donations during those last six to eight weeks of the year, that quite often at the beginning of the New Year we are sitting with our budget in hand – and that’s not a bad place to be. But the last couple of years, we haven’t had that,” he said.

“Last year, we did not go into the New Year with our budget in hand – we had a shortfall of close to $200,000,” he said. “And this year, it’s even worse than that.

“Our forecasted budget for 2015 is $550,000. Currently, we have a grand total of just south of $200,000.

“It’s a serious cash crunch, and it doesn’t include some projects that we’ve been trying to launch for a couple of years,” he said. “It takes away the energy to launch these capital projects, and we have to focus basically on keeping the doors open which is what we are doing right now.”

Part of the problem is that there aren’t any major fundraising drives – cash-wise – until the fall. There are food gathering initiatives, but few specific times where cash is the focus. “Those keep the food in the house – we are good with food.”

Scaife said the food bank has gone through some tough times over the 18 years he has worked there, but this about the worst it’s ever been, he said.

“Our average operating expense per month runs at about $35,000 – we’re not looking at a lot of months there,” he added, referring to the current bank balance.

There have also been some cuts to staff – Scaife said a couple of jobs were cut and one person went to part time.

Meanwhile, Scaife is focusing on further educating the public about the food bank in general.

“One of the things we hope to accomplish with this video series – which is going to be a weekly thing – is we are going to give people a deeper insight into what we do here,” he said. “I think there’s a disconnect from a misunderstanding of what we do.”

Scaife said the series will explore day-to-day operations, staff, volunteers and the roles and contributions of some donors as well. Examples would include businesses who have stepped forward to help in key ways.

“We need to get these kinds of messages out there to demonstrate to the business community what we are doing here,” he said.

“I’ve always believed that everybody wants to give – everybody wants to help. They just need to know who and why.

“I know this community supports us. It’s not from a lack of support that we don’t have money right now; it’s from a lack of understanding the need.”

For more information about the Red Deer Food Bank, call 403-346-1505.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities play The Vat April 27th

Moose Jaw band is on a 39-day national tour from Quebec City to Vancouver

Council highlights

Council to fund Rimbey Boys and Girls Club for $15,000

WATCH: Second annual Our Best To You Craft Sale on now

Red Deerians can expect over 150 artisans, makers and designers

Red Deer RCMP look for James Holley on warrants

Holley is believed to be in possession of firearms

‘Battle of the Badges’ charity hockey game raises funds for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deer Emergency Services and RCMP will play hockey for a good cause

WATCH: ‘Battle of the Badges’ event raises money for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deerians get together at charity hockey tournament April 20th at Servus Arena

Child’s body found in river downstream from where boy went missing during flood

Three-year-old Kaden Young was swept out of his mother’s arms in February

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

Producer, DJ Avicii found dead at 28

Swedish-born artist Tim Bergling, was found in Muscat, Oman

Trudeau ends 3-country tour with global reputation, alliances intact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finds footing on the world stage after China and India controversies

Most Read