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Bonnyville Food Bank seeing numbers increase despite FBC report findings

Food bank visits are down in rural Alberta says a new report but a Lakeland food bank says it’s seeing more guests every year. Food Banks Canada has released it’s “HungerCount 2019” findings online.

The group says visits to rural food banks are down around 10 percent since 2018. Assistant Executive Director for the Bonnyville Friendship Centre Paulene Mawer says she believes the data comes from rural food bank clients simply changing location.

“They are moving into other towns where there are simply more services for them.”

Mawer says she believes visits to the Bonnyville Food Bank are increasing over the past few years, including 2019.

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“Our year starts in April and runs until the end of March. In 2018/2019 I had a total of 2,552 visits. Right now in 2019/2020 with about 5 months to go, I’m at just over 1,500 visits.”

Food Banks Canada says about 34 percent of food bank users are children while just over 48 percent of visits are for single-adult households. Mawer says with the holidays approaching, her group has some wants to make sure their shelves stay stocked, including products somebody might not think to donate like toiletries.

“Things like feminine products, deodorant. I have lots of soap. Toothpaste or toothbrushes.”

Mawer says she’s grateful for the donations that come in from local businesses challenging each other and elsewhere.

“I grew up in this town and I know what this town is like. I know when there is a need, the town comes together to meet that need.”

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