“Sometimes people forget about the food bank after that season of giving is over. The reality is people need to eat everyday,” said Danielle McIntyre, executive director of the Interfaith Food Bank.
Typically, the Christmas rush is what keeps shelves stocked into the new year but a tough economy made that challenging so this year, the food banks are relying heavily on fundraisers.
“The year before (2015), we had a lot more donations that carried through to 2016,” said Maral Kiani Tari, executive director of the Lethbridge Food Bank. “This year, the 2016 Christmas donations were a bit lower, so we anticipate we would need more donations when it comes to the summer time.”
Every month, the food banks – together – hand out over 140-thousand pounds of food to feed between 14- and 15-hundred households.
Lower donations are impacting options for clients.
“We are modest, we are definitely not overflowing,” McIntyre said.
“I would love to see a lot more healthy options on our shelves. People often donate the less expensive items because it’s easier to give. We do need those more expensive things like pasta, peanut butter and cereal.”
Even though both food banks are struggling to keep shelves full at all times, they say they won’t turn anyone in need away.
“We never want people to feel that times are tight and the food bank doesn’t have the ability to help you. We will find a way,” McIntyre said.
Donations can be made in person and cash donations can be made online.