The Bonnyville Friendship Centre, which manages the food bank is reporting lower than average food donations, while usage of the service has gone up.
Pauline Mawer, with the Friendship Centre, says food donations are lower than they have been in the past. When speaking of the food bank she says, “it’s getting empty.” Mawer says the past Christmas season, donations were not as high as average, causing supplies to dwindle quicker than expected, “I think this past year we got half the donations we normally get.” Mawer goes on, “I’ve worked here for four years and never seen supplies as low as they are.”
Mawer contributes some of this to the increase in use of the service from the community, “it’s been busier with the lay-offs”, noting that she has two new clients in the last week. Mawer says users of the food bank come from all walks of life, “some people come in here and they’ve never used the food bank before and they never though they would need food bank.” Mawer says in those incidences The Bonnyville Friendship Centre works to ensure them, “it happens and that’s what we’re here for.”
Success stories are really what The Friendship Centre is about, says Mawer who recalls a story of a family who were clients a few years back. “The first time she came, she was kinda embarrassed that she had to come,” Mawer continues, “the other day she stopped in to thank us and brought us a $20 Coffee Card, stuff like that really warms my heart.”
If you would like to help out the Food Bank is having a Bar-B-Que Friday from 11:30-1:30 free to the public with a food donation. You can also bring a $4 donation to receive a burger at The Friendship Centre, 4711 50 Avenue, Bonnyville. Below is a list of items needed by the food bank.