For the ninth consecutive year, Interfaith Food Bank, Lethbridge Food Bank and The Salvation Army joined forces to ensure that the less-fortunate members of our community were provided with supplies for a Merry Christmas.
To make the most of our resources and eliminate the duplication of services, our trio of agencies planned and prepared to serve 1700 households for the 2015 Holiday Season, a 15% increase in comparison to Christmas 2014, as had been reflected in requests for assistance since the economic downturn earlier in the year.
This past Christmas, a total of 1622 households were provided with food hampers complete with Christmas fixings, and 1656 children ages 17 and under received toy bundles so they might have something special under the tree on Christmas morning. Thanks to the support received through community donations, 4027 individuals were assisted this holiday season (2262 Adults and 1765 Children). These numbers are very much in line with those projected by organizers, who planned to serve 200 more households this Christmas than last. Organizers also expect the increase in demand to continue throughout 2016.
Our agencies are committed to moving families past food bank line-ups. Connecting families in need with other local resources allows food bank access to be a temporary solution to food insecurity while families and individuals can address underlying issues such as under-, or unemployment, marriage failure, addictions, illness or injury. On-going demands placed on food banks and social service agencies have continued, however partnerships and cooperation between these agencies is proving to be a successful measure in providing necessary services.
Normally, Lethbridge Food Bank, Salvation Army and Interfaith Food Bank receive the bulk of their support during the Christmas season, and a surplus in food and funds is required to meet the demands of the New Year. While food stocks have returned to a more manageable state after the holiday rush, they are expected to deplete quickly. Financial donations were down slightly in 2015 as well. The poor economic outlook suggests that our agencies will be required to assist more families with fewer resources in 2016. To ensure we are able to meet ongoing demands, the community can expect to see each agency continuing to actively recruit donations of food and funds well into the New Year.
We would like to express our gratitude to the community for assisting us in ensuring that everyone had a chance to have a Merry Christmas. On behalf of our staff, volunteers and the families we serve, we hope you had the happiest of holidays, and we look forward to your on-going support in 2016.
AGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION
|Danielle McIntyre, Executive Director Interfaith Food Bank 403-320-8779 firstname.lastname@example.org www.interfaithfoodbank.ca||Grace Kim, Lieutenant The Salvation Army 403-328-8611 Grace_Kim@can.salvationarmy.org www.lethbridgesa.org||Debbie Woelders, Executive Director Lethbridge Food Bank Society 403-320-1879 email@example.com www.lethbridgefoodbank.ca|