November 23rd, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 50
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Crowsnest Food Bank needs your help
Usages at the local facility in Blairmore at all time high
Crowsnest Pass Herald - 161109 - Story 2
Archive Photo
Lisa Sygutek
Pass Herald Reporter
The Crowsnest Pass Food Bank in Blairmore is seeing an increase in patrons. According to Desiree Erdmann, manager of the food bank, “usage has increase 23% since 2015. We typically see 60-65 households per month totaling 180 individuals. We have seen more than this just in the first two weeks of November”.

Erdmann feels the usage is up based on a variety of factors including lack of employment, families working in low paying/minimum wage jobs that can’t make ends meet and an increase in families moving to the area on social services from bigger centres such as Calgary and Edmonton seeking a lower cost of living. “I have a few clients who have been laid off and are currently seeking employment. I see families who are struggling to make ends meet who have to make rent a first priority, so they have a roof over their heads. Thus food falls to the bottom of the priority list”.

There is always a need for any type of food at the centre, however, there is a shortage of pasta sauce, soups, oatmeal, rice, pasta, beans and hydrogenated items.
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Monetary and non-perishable items are always appreciated. Donations of perishable items are accepted directly at the food bank during normal operating hours. “You can donate directly to the Food Bank or at local businesses around town, such as The Bargain Shop, Servus Credit Union, IGA to name just a few.”

Currently the food bank runs primarily on volunteer help with 23 people giving their time.

If you are in need of assistance, individuals can access the food bank once every four weeks. “We request photo identification, Alberta Health Care cards for children, proof of income and proof of residency on the first visit. We also check photo identification for each visit and new identification for anyone who is added to the household.”

According to Erdmann, “We have recently made some drastic changes to our food bank which has proved to be very effective”. The centre is what is called a client choice food bank. This means that each family builds their food hamper from scratch. They choose what they enjoy eating, like or know how to cook and offers a lot of fresh options such as fruits and vegetables, butter, yogurt and cheese.
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“These changes have enabled us to offer extra meat to families as well as add peanut butter to our list of items for an extra source of protein. We also have diabetic items, gluten free and peanut free items available to accommodate any dietary restrictions families may have.”

The food bank runs Monday and Wednesdays from 5:00 –7:00 pm and Thursdays from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.
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November 23rd ~ Vol. 85 No. 50
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