The Bonnyville Friendship Centre is reporting higher usage of their food bank, as compared to this time last year. The centre is the food bank distributor for Bonnyville and surrounding communities, excluding Kehewin Cree Nation.
Executive Director of the Friendship Centre Pauline Mawer says it’s been a tough year as usage is up and donations are down, “we’re struggling.” When donations are low the food bank must dip into emergency funds to ensure there is always food on the shelves for patrons. “We’ve spent a lot of money over the summer,” explains Mawer.
Mawer says there are a few community organizations that assist when groceries are needed, “the Knights of Columbus are so good for us, they’ve helped us a lot this year.” The non-profit organization recently donated a $3000 Sobey’s gift card to help replenish supplies.
“We’ve spent more money this year since I’ve been here,” explains Mawer who has been with the Friendship Centre since 2010. In fact, for all those year combined, Mawer states the Friendship Centre has spent more money this year, “that’s just since spring.”
Mawer says a lot of single parents and elders use the food bank, as well as the recently unemployed. Men who have lost their jobs in the tough economy, whose families are used to them providing.
The Food Bank is open at The Friendship Centre Monday, Wednesdays & Fridays
The following is a list of items needed:
- Hamburger & Tuna Helper
- Canned ready pasta
- Cookies and Crackers
- Boxed Potatoes
- Coffee and Tea
- Juice Boxes / Juice Cartons
- Peanut free granola Bars
- Canned vegetables
- Canned Fruit & Fruit Cups
- Brown beans
- Canned Meat, such as chicken, ham & flakes of turkey
- Macaroni and cheese
- Chick Peas, Lentils, Black, Kidney beans
- Toilet Paper
- Boxed or instant cereal
- Canned Tomatoes
- Pasta Sauce
- Boxed soup
- Ready soup
- Instant Noodles
- Peanut Butter and Jam
- Stove Top Stuffing
The food bank appreciates all donations, but please refrain from donating expired food or packaging that is damaged or dented. Due to food regulations, we cannot utilize these in our program.