Client Spotlight: Edmonton’s Food Bank
I knew that food banks are an important resource for our communities, but it was not until I started visiting food banks across the province that I began to understand the impressive range of support and programs they offer. No matter the size, each location has a thoughtful approach to reaching people in need in their community.
This is apparent when you walk into Edmonton’s Food Bank warehouse. The main warehouse is always humming with activity; employees and volunteers are sorting and packing food to distribute at locations across the city. They offer non-perishables and fresh and frozen foods to provide a well-rounded hamper for all their clients.
I’ve been helping Edmonton’s Food Bank team with creating a formal training program to build the skills of regular volunteers and staff. This training ensures that everyone can work safely while providing wholesome hampers to those in need. It’s the best kind of work—engaged clients who have a clear purpose, good resources, and a deliverable that volunteers and employees are excited about.
Having this close relationship with food banks means that I pay attention to the annual Hunger Count report. This national report from Food Banks Canada collates data from food banks across the country, providing an overview of food insecurity across Canada. This year’s report shows that 1 in 5 Albertans are experiencing food insecurity and that food bank use in the province is up 34% over the last year.
“These results indicate that Albertans should be treating provincial food insecurity levels like a state of emergency,” says Arianna Scott, CEO of Food Banks Alberta. “From 2019 to 2022, we have seen an increase in food bank use by over 73%.”
Edmonton’s Food Bank has seen access nearly double between June 2020 and June 2022. With the rising cost of food and delivery, funds raised must stretch further than before. Supply chain challenges mean that large donors may not have as much fresh and frozen products to donate. This especially affects the cost and access to perishable food items like protein, dairy, fruits, and vegetables.
Food banks need our support more than ever as they are struggling to keep up with surging demands. They need more food, more money, and more volunteers.
This holiday season we encourage you to support your local food bank. We see firsthand how important their work is and giving can be as simple as purchasing a few extra items and donating them at your grocery store or donating money or time.
Learn more about how you can give:
Edmonton’s Food Bank: https://www.edmontonsfoodbank.com/ways-give/,
Food Banks Alberta: https://foodbanksalberta.ca/ways-to-help/, or
Visit your local food bank website.
When you donate food, money, or time to the food banks, you will be making a difference.
Annette is an experienced instructional designer and teacher. She uses her expertise to create custom training programs and materials for our clients. Contact us to book Annette or one of our other team members to work with you to create your training program.