For the seventh consecutive year, Interfaith Food Bank, Lethbridge Food Bank and 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 2000 households for the 2013 Holiday Season, 10% fewer than our projections for 2012, as had been reflected in requests for assistance throughout the year.
This past Christmas, a total of 1945 households were provided with food hampers complete with Christmas fixings, and 1139 children ages 17 and under received toy bundles so they might have something special under the tree on Christmas morning. Shortages on toys for children presented challenges to the agencies this year, however, thanks to the support received through community donations, 4323 individuals were assisted this holiday season (2659 Adults and 1664 Children). These numbers reflect a slight increase in the amount of individuals assisted in December 2012 (1840 hampers and 1269 toy bundles), a 6% increase in the number of households served and 9% increase in individuals served.
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. 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 2014.
By working together, we are able to provide a high level of service, while eliminating any duplication of services. We will be able to provide the less fortunate of our community with consistent hampers while being responsible with our generous donations.
We Need Your Help!
This year we will serve a projected 2000 households which will help 2600 adults and 1500 children. We are also predicting to fill 1500 Toy Bags for children 17 and under.