March 18, 2016 3:48 pm

As demand soars, Alberta Food Banks get $250K donation from CIBC

Alberta Food Banks has put out a desperate plea for help. The shelves are bare at several facilities across the province because they simply can't keep up with the growing demand.

Global News

CALGARY – Alberta Food Banks said it received an “incredible gift” as the worst economic downturn in decades causes demand to soar.

The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce is contributing $250,000 to the charity as food banks across the province struggle to keep pace with the need.

The organization said food bank usage has spiked since late 2014, when oil prices began their steep descent, eventually leading to tens of thousands of job losses.

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READ MORE: Red Deer Food Bank staff see ‘heart-wrenching’ unprecedented demand 

It says 10 per cent of Alberta food banks ran out of food at one point last year – causing some to shrink the size of the hampers offered and others to even close temporarily.

This year is already setting records for increased demand and Alberta Food Banks says the strain may not ease until mid-to-late 2017.

Executive director Stephanie Rigby said she hopes CIBC’s donation causes other businesses to follow suit.

READ MORE: Largest donation in Alberta food banks’ history supports community during downturn 

In December 2015, Brad Shaw, CEO of Shaw Communications, donated $6 million to the Calgary Food Bank, another $3 million to the Edmonton Food Bank and $100,000 for the Veteran’s Food Bank Project.

With files from Global News

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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