Friday, September 22, 2023

Lethbridge food bank officials hope new provincial funding will help meet demand

The Alberta Government is providing $10 million dollars to help Alberta food banks provide services for local families.

According to the National Hunger Count Survey, Alberta had some of the highest food insecurity rates in Canada, and Danielle McIntyre with the Interfaith Food Bank says that they’ve seen an increase in users the past few months.

“We are seeing month over month increases of about 30 per cent, and throughout the year we’re seeing a lot of new faces at the food bank, people who normally wouldn’t need our help mostly because of inflation and the inability to keep up with the cost of groceries,” says McIntyre.

The government funding of $10 million will be used over two years, with the first $5 million dispersed in the upcoming weeks and the other half allocated for use in the 2022-23 fiscal year.

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In addition to this funding, the government is also working to raise community awareness and involvement for food banks by providing an additional $10 million over two years. This will be done via matching funds that go towards Alberta food banks, charities, not-for-profits and civil service agencies.

McIntyre also states that just because you have a job, doesn’t mean that you can pay your bills.

“We are normally a province that has a lot of working people, and we are to a point now where just because you have a job doesn’t necessarily mean you are able to pay your bills.”

In total, the province of Alberta has announced $20 million in support of food banks, where there are 104 food banks.

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