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Lethbridge food banks see spike in demand

Click to play video: 'Lethbridge food banks help support the most vulnerable'
Lethbridge food banks help support the most vulnerable
Rising food costs are impacting everyone lately, but inflation has taken a particularly heavy toll on some of Lethbridge's most vulnerable. Micah Quintin meets with a local veteran now volunteering to help others facing similar challenges – Feb 16, 2024

Filling the hampers is only the start of the work underway at the Lethbridge Veterans Association Food Bank.

It launched last November, offering a local space for veterans in need.

“Having this here, it’s like herding cats to get people in the door. But it’s already making a huge impact on the community,” said veteran Brandon Gorham.

Gorham was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder when he returned from Afghanistan in 2016. He went to the Veterans Association Food Bank for help, where he now works as a volunteer.

“When you leave the armed forces you lose that entire support structure and then you’re doing it on your own, which leads to self-isolation and everything else,” said Gorham.

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“Especially in the veteran community, there’s a lot of stigma in asking for help.”

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Veterans aren’t the only vulnerable community having trouble making ends meet as prices for just about everything continue to soar.

The Lethbridge Food Bank is also seeing a spike in demand. It served around 750 households over the holidays and the need continues in the New Year.

“We are currently at 450 households served this month and were only halfway through already,” said executive director Mac Nichol.

Single families and those with full-time jobs are increasingly accessing the food bank, along with students.

“This has been very tough for a lot of students,” said Nichol. “The student loans they pulled out would have been based on times before and they’re just stretched too thin, too fast, and are needing that support from us.”

— with files from Micah Quintin, Global News

Click to play video: 'Addressing food insecurity in Canada'
Addressing food insecurity in Canada

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