What would you do if you had to choose between paying your utilities bill and getting groceries? What if you had children to feed and you knew you didn’t have enough money to buy food?
Nutrition is a critical factor to a healthy life. Without proper nutrition, we lack fundamental vitamins and minerals for our minds and bodies to function properly. As a result, we are more susceptible to physical and mental illness. Children, pregnant women, and seniors are among the most vulnerable in our population who can suffer from lack of nutrition. In 2011, 17.9% of Alberta Children lived in a food insecure household. Over one in three of lone parent households experience food insecurity. (Vital Signs Report, 2013)
Food insecurity is defined as ‘a situation of limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways’.
Imagine not having the financial resources and ability to acquire food. For people in poverty, it’s a real situation. Food insecurity is closely link to a lack of household income. One-third of households below the poverty line experience food insecurity. (Vital Signs Report, 2013)
With the help of food banks, many people are able to access food for themselves and their families. Donations to food banks helps thousands of people through food insecure times. It’s true that a small donation makes a big difference. All the food is collected, sorted and organized into hampers to provide meals to people in need. The average cost of a month’s worth of groceries for a family with 2 children is $500, and for a family with 3 children it’s $700. This is a large sum of money to someone living in poverty.
The Heritage Festival is largest food and fundraiser event of the year for the Edmonton Food Bank. Last year 60,041 kilograms of food and over $123,000 were raised at this event. This weekend, August 2 – 4, if you plan to attend the 2014 Heritage Festival, don’t forget to bring your non-perishable food item.
Last year, We Magazine of the United Way of the Alberta Capital Region, published an article called Capital Region Food Banks about the important work of the community food banks and how each food bank collects and serves up food in a variety of ways. It’s a great read.
Alberta Capital Region Food Banks
Mailing Address: PO Box 5008, Leduc, AB T9E 6L5
Physical Address: 4810 49 Avenue, Leduc, AB
Food Bank Phone: 780–986-5333
Food Bank Hours of Operation: Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm
Mailing Address: 255 Kaska Rd, Sherwood Park, AB T8A 4E8
Physical Address: 255 Kaska Rd, Sherwood Park, AB T8A 4E8
Food Bank Phone: 780-449-6413
Food Bank Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 9:00 am - Noon
Parkland Food Bank
Mailing Address: PO Box 5213, Main Station, Spruce Grove, AB T7X 3A3
Physical Address: 105 Madison Crescent, Spruce Grove, AB
Food Bank Phone: 780–962-4565
Food Bank Hours of Operation: Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9:00am-Noon, Wednesday 6:30pm-8:00pm
Mailing Address: 50 Bellerose Drive, St. Albert, AB T8N 3L5
Physical Address: 50 Bellerose Drive, St. Albert, AB
Food Bank Phone: 780–459-0599
Food Bank Hours of Operation: Monday/Wednesday/Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm
The Fort Saskatchewan Food Gatherers Society (no website)
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 3404, Fort Saskatchewan, AB, T8L 2T3
Physical Address: 9803 – 102 Street, Fort Saskatchewan, AB, T8L 2C1
Food Bank Phone: 780-998-4099
Food Bank Hours of Operation: Tuesday and Friday – 10:00am – Noon and 1:00pm – 3:00 pm
Mailing Address: Po Box 62061, Edmonton, AB, T5M 4B5
Physical Address: 11508 – 120 St. NW, Edmonton, AB, T5G 2Y2
Food Bank Phone: 780–425-2133
Food Bank Hours of Operation: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm