Holidays 2017

December 22, 2017 7:24 pm
Updated: December 23, 2017 1:27 pm

Saskatoon Food Bank seeing fewer donations than last holiday season

WATCH ABOVE: The Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre is trying to reach their goal of 400,000 pounds of food and $400,000 fundraising, but are falling short on both targets. Rebekah Lesko reports.


Usually this time of year, 18 wheels roll up to the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre for an annual Christmas donation.

This year, there were fewer tires and fewer donations.

READ MORE: Chicken farmers make donation to Saskatoon Food Bank

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Roseneau Transport’s 18 Wheels of Christmas fundraiser saw a decline in hamper donations set up across the city this year, which meant there was not enough to fill the large semi-trailer, which is regularly used for the annual delivery.

“It’s a little bit down from last year. Times are tough for everyone, but for what we ended up bringing today and our cash donation, I think it was well,” Rosenau Transport assistant manager Chico Pobereznek said.

Pobereznek said donations were about half of last year, which is why a smaller trailer was used instead.

“We are seeing donations down,” Deborah Hamp, the food bank’s director of operations and engagement, said.

“We’re very touched by the people who are stepping up to give back at a time when it’s maybe a little bit trickier this year for some than others,” Hamp said.

The food bank’s goal is to raise 400,000 pounds of food by the end of the month. Hamp said they’re about 100,000 pounds short.

Smoke’s Poutinerie helped chip away at that number by donating 1,000 pounds of potatoes.

“We were so well received here in Saskatoon, with the support and everybody coming down to support us. We thought why not give back to the community so here were with our potatoes,” Jason Evanochko, the franchise owner of Saskatoon’s Smoke’s Poutinerie, said.

Each month, the Saskatoon Food Bank serves 21,000 people; almost half are children.

“We know that kids have a hard time learning if they don’t have proper nutrition. We see a lot of very vulnerable people. We see seniors, new Canadians. We see students. We see people from all walks of life,” Hamp said.

READ MORE: Baby formula drive continues Saskatoon holiday tradition

The food bank said they are about 75 per cent of the way to their fundraising goal, but still $100,000 short.

“We know in Saskatchewan, [during] tough times people do stick together. We’re hoping to see some more of that great community spirit come through for us again this year,” Hamp said.

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