Lethbridge’s Interfaith Food Bank planning 2019 budget after fewer holiday donations

Click to play video: 'Interfaith Food Bank budgeting with fewer donations heading into 2019'
Interfaith Food Bank budgeting with fewer donations heading into 2019
WATCH ABOVE: The Interfaith Food Bank gets most of its financial donations between October and December, then it's time to set a budget. As Quinn Campbell reports, this year financial donations are down – Jan 7, 2019

With the most charitable time of year now behind us, Lethbridge’s non-profit organizations are sitting down to crunch the numbers.

Not-for-profit groups like the Interfaith Food Bank typically receive most of their donations between October and December before planning for the coming year’s budget.

“Come January, we set our annual budget based off how that money did come in and then we try to project trends, scenarios, upcoming projects to set our budget for the coming year,” said Danielle McIntyre, executive director of the Interfaith Food Bank.

READ MORE: Lethbridge charities wrap up holiday fundraising campaigns

McIntyre added that Lethbridge and the surrounding community rallied hard this year, giving critical donations during the food bank’s busiest time, but the organization still fell short of its fundraising target.

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“This year, Interfaith Food Bank was about $60,000 short of our Christmas projected numbers so that means in 2019, we are going to have to be a lot more frugal and stringent as to where our money is going to go,” she said.

McIntyre said organizations like the food bank are dependent on the ebb and flow of the economy.

“We always know that if times are tight, we have fewer people who are able to give, we have more people accessing services so we really do ride the wave of the economy,” she explained.

READ MORE: Calgary Flames team up with Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce to help non-profits

With less money to spread around, McIntyre said some tough decisions have to be made while still feeding clients dependent on their services.

“Where we can cut budgets is on what we are able to provide for the families that we are here for and so that’s where it becomes a bit of an emotional struggle for us because our whole purpose of our organization is to serve those families who need us most,” added McIntyre.

No matter how the numbers are crunched, the food bank is optimistic that every family that needs support will get it.


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