After sending out the distress signal from nearly bare shelves, the Bonnyville Friendship Centre is seeing donations to their food bank at levels rarely seen outside of Christmas.
“We’ve just been overwhelmed by the response of the community” says Pauline Mawer, “Food is coming in like crazy. Ducharme Motors brought a truck load the other day… I don’t know what to say.” She adds the food being donated is of high quality as well, “People are bringing in fresh vegetables. Ducharme brought in three cases of baloney pre-wrapped that we can give to families with kids for lunches… We’re getting phone calls from different individuals asking “What can I bring in? I saw your list [of needed items] on Facebook. What do you need?” I said everything on that list is a priority and it’s coming in… we’re getting coffee and tea, which we haven’t had in a long time. This is Christmas in September for us.”
The situation had gotten so bad last month that the Centre was having to use its own funds to top off hampers to residents in need. Mawer said she had to give less food to clients than they needed as well. The community has stepped up to the plate though, and the situation has almost completely reversed. The Friendship Centre also had a barbecue earlier today selling indian tacos and bannock burgers, raising even more funds. The centre estimates they were able to raise about 1600 dollars, roughly enough to feed ten families for a month.