Lethbridge meals banks exceed Goal Starvation assortment objective regardless of climbing grocery costs – Lethbridge


It has become a year like no other for Lethbridge Food Bank and the Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge as they struggle to keep up due to growing demand.

But despite the strain, the panels were thrilled to exceed their collection goal for the annual citywide Target Hunger food campaign.

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“Target Hunger was designed to make it easy for people to get involved as donors,” said Interfaith CEO Danielle McIntyre during Saturday’s event. “No one knocks on your door. You can put a bag out if you want.”

Due to the influx of donations, it seems many people in Lethbridge wanted to help.

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The two food banks had shared a target of raising £50,000 of food during the target hunger and on Monday Lethbridge Food Bank chief executive Mac Nichol said not only has that target been exceeded but donations are continuing to come in.

“It’s trickling in. A lot of our pickups are at different locations like grocery stores, Cornerstone Funeral Home and the libraries,” said Nichol. “But currently between both food banks we’ve taken in £60,000 and almost $6,000.”

The total value of community contributions was estimated at nearly $195,000 as of Monday afternoon.

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The annual food drive is the biggest event of the year for the organizations. Last year Target Hunger raised more than £73,000 in donations but McIntyre says that in 2022 organizers weren’t sure what to expect.

“This year is different from other years in the sense that we’re just coming out of a pandemic and we’re also experiencing inflation and very high food costs,” she said.

Interfaith Food Bank has seen a steady increase in demand since March last year; McIntyre says that with the current economy, events like Target Hunger are needed in the community more than ever.

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“Our number is growing month-to-month, which isn’t unexpected — having just emerged from a pandemic — but current food prices and fuel costs are definitely going to bring more people into our lineup,” she said.

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That surge in demand was reflected at Lethbridge Food Bank, where Nichol says the numbers have become almost alarming.

“This year in May we looked after 150 more families than last year. Those numbers are a bit scary,” he said.

“We also run a school feeding program – Mindful Munchies – and this program is helping 150 more individual children this year than last year.”

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The need for a successful food drive was not lost on Saturday with 200 volunteers.

Fred Gravel has volunteered with Interfaith since 1998 and has attended Target Hunger year after year. He says this year the desperation was clear.

“The shelves are empty and I think everyone’s feeling the pinch, with all the high prices and stuff,” Gravel said. “So all of that, everything we get in comes from the heart.”

Organizers encourage community members to continue bringing bags that may have been missed during Saturday’s pickup; Donations will continue to be accepted at both the food banks and collection bins at local grocery stores. Financial donations are also accepted online.

The hope is that donations from Target Hunger will help keep shelves stocked at both panels for at least the rest of the summer.

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