The Humboldt and District Food Bank is partnering with local grocery stores for the holidays.
“The three grocery stores are raising products for us at this time,” said Shirley Reiter, treasurer and board member of the Humboldt and District Food Bank. “No Frills is doing a national campaign where any customer donations go to a special bin, I think they’re using a cart, and we keep track of their donations and information is forwarded at the end of December to Food Banks Canada.”
No Frills isn’t alone in partnering with the food bank.
“The Co-op and Sobeys are selling bags that are pre-made, and I believe the Co-op sells them for $10 a bag and Sobeys has $5 or $10 as options,” Reiter said. “So those are ways the grocery stores have partnered with the food bank.”
“This is their holiday promotion... We get the product that comes in those bags. So what happens is the Co-op makes up their bags.”
When a customer buys a pre-made bag, the bag is sent to the food bank, and the customer pays the fee.
“The product comes pre-packaged from some warehouse, so the customer decides if they want to buy a $5 bag or a $10 bag, then again we get the product that is in those bags.”
Operation wise, the food bank doesn’t change their hampers for Christmas.
“The reason the food bank doesn’t do a Christmas hamper is because our clients can only come once every four weeks,” Reiter said. “So we would give someone a hamper from the beginning of December, and we wouldn’t expect them to go hungry or not use that food and wait until Christmas.”
For those requiring assistance, the Humboldt Food Bank is open Tuesday afternoons from 2 pm to 4 pm.
“That’s when we expect the bulk of our clients to come. We don’t expect clients to call ahead of time, so we’re never really sure on a Tuesday how many will come.
Currently the food bank supports 90 to 110 families a month.
While some food banks throughout the province are struggling, such as Melfort, Humboldt is doing well according to Reiter.
“The Humboldt Food Bank is doing extremely well right now. Humboldt and area is a very giving community and several years ago we were struggling. We weren’t sure whether we would continue or not. But we made some changes and things have gone extremely well, we were able to put in a new building.”
“I would just like to thank the community for their support of the Humboldt and District Food Bank,” Reiter said. “I always say to people, ‘it’s really sad the community needs a food bank, but it’s also so great that we can provide that service for clients that need it.’”