The need at the Rimbey Food Bank is even greater than usual this month and volunteers are busy stocking shelves and preparing to fill Christmas hampers.
FCSS executive director Peggy Makofka said she estimates the number of people accessing the food bank has gone up by around 35 per cent.
“It’s a tough time and we’ve been in this (economic) slump for some time,” she said. “Employment insurance may have expired and some families are really finding it tough right now.”
Food bank co-ordinator Katherine Winters said 113 families have been helped through the food bank throughout the year.
During December the food bank gives out one hamper per family containing enough food for a Christmas meal, plus groceries for about four days. Childrens’ toys are also included in the hamper.
New toys are accepted and toys for children of all ages are needed, but the shortfall is the greatest in the 10 to 17 year-old boy’s category.
Volunteers who would like to help may contact the FCSS office at 403-843-2030 to register.
Simpson said donations including food, cash and gifts usually begin to increase in December.
Gifts for newborns to youth up to 18-years-of age are accepted, as well as food items and cash donations.
Applications for the Christmas hamper/children’s gift program will be taken after Dec. 1. Those who wish to apply may call or drop in at the FCSS office located in the provincial building.
Applicants must live in the Town of Rimbey or the west half of Ponoka County.
All inquiries are kept strictly confidential.
The food bank is located in the basement of the Nazarene Church and is open Wednesday mornings.
Non perishable and nutrient dense food including canned vegetables and fruit, pancake mix and syrup, tinned salmon and applesauce are among the items needed to keep shelves stocked, but all items are gratefully accepted.