By Nikki Jamieson
Sunny South News
The Coaldale Community Foodbank is asking for help this holiday season.
With the ongoing pandemic, the foodbank hasn’t been able to hold it’s usual fundraisers or food drives, and they are in dire need of donations. While some monetary donation drives took place earlier in the year, they are strapped for both food and funds as they try to prepare thier Christmas Hampers.
“Because of the covid thing, people are not going out anywhere and so they’re not coming to the food bank to make donations of food or financial donations,” said Vaungh Caldwell, coordinator for the food bank.
The pandemic meant that two of their biggest monetary fundraiser — the Settler Days hotdog/hamburger event and their annual Duck Race — were cancelled, which would normally raise about $15,000 from them. Additionally, both their food drive in June and the one normally held in October by Kate Andrews High school was cancelled due to covid.
“When you take 90 per cent of your donations that come in with food, that’s a lot that we would have to take out of the existing money that we have, and we have to buy all this stuff.”
In addition to the pandemic, construction for the Main Street Revitalization Project had meant that clients and donors had to use the back door to the building, and with no street parking available and little parking at the back of the building, it meant people would have to walk a couple of blocks away from where they parked to access the food bank, which proved detrimental for drop-off donations and their clients.
“It has been a horrendous seven, eight months.”
While things are slower than last year, with the food bank currently averaging 40 hampers a month, Caldwell is concerned about whether they can put together the special Christmas hampers that go out in late November and December.
“Right now, just to serve day-today clients, we’re doing alright, but we’ve got 80 hampers to make up for Christmas, and we have got enough stuff there to make 20 (hampers).”
The Coaldale Community Foodbank is asking for people to help sponsor a Christmas hamper. This can be done by either donating $150 to the foodbank for them to put a hamper together, or by putting together a hamper complete with toys, gifts and food yourself, although Caldwell cautions that will cost approximately $300-400.
The Coaldale Food Market will also be collecting donations for the foodbank. They will be putting together bags of 10 items that people can go view, and while people cannot take the bags out of the store, they can donate $10 to the food bank, which they foodbank will use to buy what they need.
Additionally, people can come to the food bank to drop off monetary donations or food items. Caldwell said they are in need of pretty much everything, as “the shelves are pretty much zip”. The food bank is open Monday-Friday from Nov. 16-Dec. 18.
For those who would prefer to mail their donation, they can mail it to Coaldale Community Food Bank, Box 45, Coaldale, T1M 1M2.
Registrations for Christmas Hampers will take place from Nov. 2-Dec. 11.
The food bank will start to put together Christmas hampers at the end November and distribute them.
To sponsor or co-sponsor a family at the food bank, or if you are in need or know a family in need, call Lois at 403-345-27-20 or a 403-795-2105.