The 2017 Target Hunger food drive has garnered almost 50,000 pounds of food, which organizers say will go a long way in helping local families—despite a goal of 100,000 pounds.
Saturday’s annual event is the biggest operation of the year for the Lethbridge food banks.
“We’ve seen an increase in demand at both of our local food banks,” Interfaith Food Bank executive director Danielle McIntyre said. “Traditionally we do see our numbers go down a bit in the summertime; we haven’t seen that hit yet. What does go down—more than anything else in the summertime—is the food donations, which is why Target Hunger is so crucial to us.”
But it wouldn’t be possible without an army of volunteers.
“Food banks are very much nickel-and-dime organizations, where it takes many hands to make it happen, so every little bit helps,” McIntyre said.
The volunteers place empty bags on door steps around the city and days later they are back out, stuffed with non-perishable foods–then collected.
The bags are then dropped off at the Lethbridge Food Bank and Interfaith Food Bank where they are weighed and sorted.
Roger Herrington and his wife Sherry have been volunteering for the past 17 years.
“When my wife and I were just starting out, we had to use the food bank ourselves on several occasions,” Herrington said. “This is our way of paying back the food bank for the times they helped us.
“If everybody would give even two cans or even some pasta, we wouldn’t have to worry about not having the ability to feed the hungry and the homeless.”
For those who missed the food drive, donations can always be dropped off at both food banks and local grocery store collection bins.
“You may never have had to use it, someday you may have to use it, but there’s definitely other people out there who do need this,” Herrington said.