Last week Because Edmonton Cares had the privilege of volunteering at the Edmonton Food Bank. In the past we have helped the Food Bank by collecting food and tickets at Heritage Days but this was our first experience in the Food Bank itself.
Our team got to spread out and do various jobs. Some of our volunteers sorted incoming donations, some shucked corn, and I got to pack outgoing food boxes. As one of our volunteers said 'it's like grocery shopping, but for hours on end!'
After our volunteering a representative of the Food Bank took us on a tour of the warehouse and it was enlightening to learn more about what they do and who they serve. Did you know that the Edmonton Food Bank has over 190 spots you can pick up food from? And that through those agencies they serve more that 15,000 people a month. To me the most sobering stat is the fact that approximately 40% of those they serve are children under the age of 18.
The Food Bank is supported through the United Way but they receive no government funding. Generally they need to purchase between $500,000 - $600,000 worth of food each year to supplement the food donations they receive in order to provide nutritious meals to Edmontonians.
There are so many ways you can help out your local food bank. You can volunteer at various fundraising/food-raising events, you can volunteer in the food bank itself taking orders or packing boxes, you can ask people to bring food donations to parties you host, you can donate to any of the agencies that help support them or you can just help spread the word of what is needed most. Here is a link to the list of items that is needed most in the Edmonton Food Bank: http://edmontonsfoodbank.com/about/most-needed-items/
The best part of helping out at the Food Bank? While feeding the masses you're also feeding your soul by doing something amazing for your community. Do it!