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Food Banks of Saskatchewan ‘surprised’ by exceeding fundraiser goal

Volunteers at the Saskatoon Food Bank working hard to ensure people know need their services get them . Michael Kincade / Food Banks of Saskatchewan

With some help from the community and big business leaders in the province, the Food Banks of Saskatchewan surpassed its $1 million fundraising goal.

The Feeding Holiday Cheer campaign started on Nov. 30, 2021, and kicked off in a big way with a $250,000 donation from Nutrien.  Other big donations came from The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses, Kelly Panteluk Construction and the Saskatchewan Government Employee’s Union.

Alongside them were just regular people that helped add up the funds to hit a grand total of $2.5 million.

“It’s amazing the amount of $1,000, $1,500, $2,500 that came in on top of the bigger donations. It all adds up,” said , Michael Kincade, executive director of FBSK.

Those funds raised are going to help purchase better food for all 36 registered food banks in the province, along with preparing them for what’s to come.

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Read more: Coronavirus: Saskatoon Food Bank prepares for 25-50% rise in demand

Good food for the banks has been hard to come by. “We don’t always get the quality foods,” added Kincade. ” Although everything is appreciated.”

Fresh produce and meat protein are the big targets for purchase. Kincade added that the Saskatchewan Cattle Association has always been a big contributor.

“They really stepped up and donated some beef this year,” Kincade said.

Unfortunately, the meat that comes through the doors just isn’t enough, and with services expected to increase over the next couple of months, they need to bulk up.

Along with purchasing more groceries, the food banks also have to pay for all the transportation of getting said groceries to the other locations across the province.  All 36 locations will be seeing some part of the $2.5 million.

Click to play video: 'Sask. food banks receive $3 million boost after holiday campaign' Sask. food banks receive $3 million boost after holiday campaign
Sask. food banks receive $3 million boost after holiday campaign – Jan 27, 2021

COVID-19 also had its effects on the fundraiser, having caused financial stress for families and businesses alike causing two barriers for the food bank: uncertainty and high demand.

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“There is always some doubts,” said Kincade, talking about the food bank’s thoughts before the fundraiser began.

“I’m so pleasantly surprised that we succeeded. We thought aiming for a million dollars was a stretch … but then when we more then doubled that I was just thrilled.”

Read more: Coronavirus: Food Banks of Saskatchewan launches fundraising campaign

Demand is expected to jump as well. Financial stresses continue to hit communities around the province, and with the Omicron variant still wreaking havoc on day-to-day life, Kincade expects more and more people will need their services.

“As we continue to go through this pandemic, and post-pandemic, there is going to be more and more people who are going to need help. We don’t see it ending fast,” Kincade said.

“The fallout is going to be years to come.’

The Food Banks are currently bracing for the worst possible scenario and trying to be best prepared for when the services do increase, but in the meantime, they are thankful for every dollar that was donated.

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