Food drive marks end of Willis era

“Kathy has done every job there is to do in the food bank and she has gone above and beyond.” - Betty Birch

KATHY WILLIS

Just in time for the Thanksgiving season, Stettler and District Food Bank was replenished during the annual community food drive Monday night.

“The community has always been so generous and supportive of the food bank” said Kathy Willis, who plans to step down at the end of this year after 16 years as the managing director of the food bank.

“I just can’t say enough about the community.”

Over the past five years, the food bank has provided food hampers for 400 families and households each year, she said.

“They’re so grateful for the hampers,” Willis said.

Each month, the Stettler food bank distributes an average of 114 hampers, as donations have flourished in recent years.

In previous years, the food bank monthly distributed 112 hampers in 2011, 125 in 2010, 120 in 2009 and 93 in 2008.

For the recipients of the hampers, 54 per cent are for households with children and the rest for adults only.

Shelves of the food bank are restocked from donations during the annual food drive held the first Monday of October, with help from Stettler Regional Fire Department and ATCO Electric.

“Our food bank is fortunate that we don’t have to organize any food drives or campaigns,” Willis said.

“The community and local groups initiate them for us.”

With the long-serving managing director departing, the food bank society is seeking a successor, and more volunteers and a director for the board.

“Kathy has done every job there is to do in the food bank and she has gone above and beyond,” said Betty Birch, president of the food bank society.

Along with a new director, the society is putting out a call for more volunteers.

“We need volunteers to work in the food bank, people to pick up bread and groceries each week, and we need more people on our board,” Birch said.

Stettler food bank relies on residents in the region to donate food and funding, because provincial and federal government funding doesn’t support food banks.

Food donations can be made at Sobeys and No-Frills grocery stores in Stettler.

Fresh vegetables and fruit are accepted, but not canned food or wild meat.

Monetary donations help purchase products such as milk, eggs and meat.

Cheques can be mailed to Box 1492 in Stettler.

For more information on the food bank, phone Birch at 403-742-0732.

 

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