The Moose Jaw & District Food Bank continues to see more clients using its services due to everyday products costing more and incomes stagnating or not increasing as fast.
The food bank has been busier than ever, explained assistant manager Deann Little. August was record-breaking, as the organization distributed 451 hampers and helped 1,072 clients. It has also seen a nine-per-cent increase in clients accessing the food bank this year compared to 2018.
“We had to hire our casual helper and bring her on five days a week to help with the extra need,” she continued.
The food bank goes through about 1,000 cans of soup a month, while it also distributes more than 900 boxes of Kraft dinner per month.
Most clients simply don’t have the income to meet their expenses, Little explained. Most goods and products are becoming more expensive, while wages have not increased to the same degree. Some clients also faced unexpected expenses that pop up.
“Yes, I’m very blessed at my job to help those in my community,” she said. “It keeps one humble when I see people struggling.
“We often get clients telling us they don’t know what they would do if our food bank didn’t exist here.”
Little thought it was difficult to say what food item is needed the most. However, she encouraged residents to purchase items that are on sale since the food bank will take it regardless. For the upcoming Better Together Food Drive, she suggested that residents contribute items such as boxed cereal, canned meat, canned fruit, soups, Sidekicks packages, and pasta.
Residents can also make donations to the organization. This can be done through the food bank’s website at mjfoodbank.org, by e-transfers at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by visiting the building at 305 Fairford Street West and giving with debit or credit card.
“We have always found that our community supports us at any and all events,” Little said. “It supports us on a daily and monthly basis … to enable us to continue helping others.”
The Moose Jaw & District Food Bank is not funded by any level of government, she added, but instead relies solely on the community for financial support.