By JACOB MILLER
The Shaunavon Standard Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
It was another important year for the Shaunavon Food Bank in 2021 as t h e l o c a l v o l u n t e e r- d r i ven organization saw the amount of food it distributes increase over 2020 totals.
Just looking at the numbers, the Shaunavon Food Bank distributed a total of 23,000 kg (50,700 lbs) of food items in 2021, an increase of 10 per cent over the previous year.
Over the course of 2021, the group filled 325 hampers and had 503 walk-in clients.
Food was sent to Eastend, Frontier, and Climax weekly, and to Rock Solid and the Shaunavon Group Homes when available.
“We are very grateful that our donations were also up this year, and we are very grateful to Shaunavon and the surrounding communities for their generosity,” offered Anne Bennett, one member of a small team of volunteers involved with the Shaunavon Food Bank.
“Most of our donations are from individuals,” she added. “Many, many individuals have made donations in the form of groceries, cash, gift cards, garden produce, eggs from people with chickens and ground beef from several ranchers.”
Bennett also said the local Co-op is a major donor to the ongoing program and that the Bench and Sierra Colonies have been very generous along with other colonies in the area who have donated produce on occasion.
The Food Bank also expressed gratitude to several other local organizations for their contributions, during the year including: The Red Apple for their food drives and Christmas toy collection; all the churches in Shaunavon and surrounding area; Plaza Theatre; IDA; Shaunavon Shadows football program; Shaunavon Public, Christ the King and Shaunavon High Schools; and Hidden Valley Foods in Eastend.
The food bank is open Mondays and Thursdays from 2:30-4:30 p.m. It welcomes walk-in clients who can pick up bread, milk, produce and baking, depending on availability. Every two weeks, clients can book an appointment for a full food hamper.
“We have a volunteer board and are run completely by extremely dedicated volunteers,” stated Bennett.
Donations can be made at donation boxes around Shaunavon or by dropping off during foodbank hours. Financial contributions can be made by etransfer to shaunavonfoodbank@ gmail.com. (Anyone sending an eTransfer is asked to please include a mailing address as part of the eTransfer message, or send it in a separate email.)