Despite the average haul in the October food drive, the Stettler and District Food bank is already in need of purchasing food to help feed the increasing number of families reaching out for assistance.
Betty Birch, president of the food bank, accepted a donation from Wheelhouse and Domino, whose halloween concert, the Halloween Howl, raised $2,380 for the food bank. The donation was very welcome, Birch said, as it will help put a dent in the $6,000-$8,000 the food bank is spending every month to help its clientele.
The food bank is already completely out of canned fruit and is low on canned vegetables, has been buying pasta sauce, and is on the cusp of needing to start purchasing cereal. Foods like cheese spreads — Cheese Whiz, for example — are distant memories, and meal staples like sidekicks, soups and hamburger helper are all but gone.
“Donations were down slightly this year,” Birch said of the food, though she acknowledged that financial donations were right where they were the year before. Support from the local grocery stores means there is always bread coming in on pick-up days.
The food bank isn’t able to accept venison or other wild meats, nor can it accept milk or eggs from local farms, since the foods aren’t inspected by a health agency, Birch said.
The food bank could also use donations of ground beef, as it does have a freezer and meat is something that most people on food bank diets sorely lack.
The members of Wheelhouse and Domino seemed stunned by the amount of food that comes in and goes out of the food bank in a month, as well as the amount of money the food bank is spending to help its clients.
“We were going to do the concert anyway,” Cindy Liebe said. “We wanted to give back to the community.”
Already, the two Stettler bands are looking for ways to help the food bank further.
Families with children are able to pick up packages from the food bank twice a month, but due to demand, families with single adults are restricted to just one, Birch noted.
Anyone wishing to make a donation is asked to contact the food bank or drop off food at any of the food drop offs found in town. Healthy foods are preferable to sweet treats, though the food bank won’t turn away any food in good condition.