Food drive well-timed

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June 14, 2016 8:11 AM

Groups of volunteers help sort donations brought in from the Grace United Church food drive, which happened Saturday to benefit the Salvation Army Food Bank.

The Salvation Army Food Bank got a good boost to its inventory over the weekend after the crew at Grace United Church executed a food drive that canvassed half the city.
The initiative couldn’t have come at a better time either, as spring and summer see the hardest strain on the food bank, especially during one of its busiest years in recent memory.
“In the summer I know that the shelves can get very low and so that was why we did it at this time of year, even though we know that a lot of people have volunteered all winter,” said Pat Ribey, past minister of Grace United Church and co-organizer for the drive.
“We’re just really pleased, it’s so gratifying and whatever it is we get for the food bank, it’s all good.”
The food drive was taken on by a few different organizations, with Grace United doing the planning, Jack Kemp School’s SOS Club helping deliver flyers about the drive, and folks from Southridge Community Church helping pick up donations from houses around the city.
Conveniently, volunteers from the Royal Bank of Canada and Telus also happened to be looking for work that day, and showed up to pitch in with the sorting of the donations.
Ribey said helping out in such a way is what makes communities strong, and then broke down into tears and laughs when she gave her thoughts on the importance of such local initiatives.
“To me, I see a community as a community working together, working to support whomever we can support, and in any community there are always people who maybe don’t have as much, and I think as Canadians we just have to help each other,” she said, smiling as she wiped tears from her eyes.
Shannon Weinberger, head of the Salvation Army Food Bank, said she was happy with the extra inventory coming in and agreed the time of year and current economy made the drive all the more important.
She said just because the donations slow down in the spring that doesn’t mean the need for them does, and she’s proud of the generosity from Lloydminster residents.
“We live in an awesome community that’s super helpful; we’re probably at double the families that we were last year, which was already high,” she said of the people using the Food Bank resource.
“So a huge thank you to Lloydminster and the whole community, everybody knows that we’re struggling, but everyone is also trying to help—so it’s absolutely wonderful.”

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