January 13, 2018 8:34 pm
Updated: January 13, 2018 9:05 pm

Post-holiday slump has Alberta food banks in need of donations

Donations to food banks across the province tend to slow after the holidays.

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With the holidays behind us, Alberta food banks are seeing a dip in donations. The 88 food banks across the province want to remind people that they need to continue to build up stock all year round.

Executive director for Food Banks Alberta Stephanie Rigby told the Alberta Morning News that donating through the spring is as critical as during the holiday season.

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“We’re seeing food banks often dropping in… how much people are remembering to continue to donate,” Rigby explained. “Food banks and other charities are top of mind heading into the holiday season.

“But we always like to remind our donors and our communities that hunger does not take a vacation.”

Food banks require a wide variety of donations, including a need for specialty items. Rigby says they have many clients with specific dietary restrictions.

“Everything from a cultural side of things, where people are donating or asking for particular foods,” she said. “We also, on the health side of things, are accommodating people that have serious issues with allergies to dairy and nuts. Also people with gluten allergies or celiac.”

Rigby also wanted to ensure Albertans are educated about exactly what they can donate. Despite a common misconception, most food banks can accept perishable items — especially larger branches, like in Edmonton and Calgary.

“The great thing about donating perishable foods is you’re ensuring a more nutritious element is getting into those hampers when they go out,” Rigby said.

“And that’s just really increasing the quality of what we’re able to provide for our clients.”

She suggests calling your local food bank to ensure they have the capacity to store perishable items.

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If you’re still unsure about making a food donation, there are other options. Rigby stressed that financial donations also play an important role.

“What is does allow them to do is fill the gaps,” Rigby explained. “If you’ve got lots of the base food there but you want to buy some eggs, or dairy, or some poultry to top up the hamper — that’s how the financial donations really do make a big difference.”

You can find out how and what to donate to Alberta Food Banks by visiting their website.

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