‘Every bit helps:’ Food bank stocking up on pantry staples ahead of Thanksgiving demand

The Prince Albert Food Bank is in need of basics like dried pasta, rice and canned goods. – Herald file photo

The Prince Albert Food Bank is seeking donations as part of its Thanksgiving drive on Thursday.

According to executive director Kim Scruby, the non-profit is looking for donations of basic, non-perishable items such as dried pasta, rice and canned goods. The food drive will take place at Walmart from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Scruby said the food bank has seen a “big time increase” in the need for hampers over the last six years or so. At that time, they were distributing around 750 hampers a month. Last month, he said, they gave out 1,290.

Each hamper includes a three-day supply of food, depending on inventory.

“Inflation kind of kicked in, that type of thing, mortgage rates going up. It makes a big difference for some folks. Say two years ago, people were getting by paycheque to paycheque and everything was fine.”

Now, for many, paycheques aren’t meeting the demands of inflation – an issue that can be particularly stressful around holidays like Thanksgiving.

“It does get busier (around) Thanksgiving, you know, there are other things to spend money on,” said Scruby.

“Demand increases, so we just try and get as many of the basics that we can to give out.”

Scruby said food drives help to stock up on non-perishables, but also to spread awareness on food insecurity.

The importance became transparent at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the food bank couldn’t hold any public events.

“We’re hoping that’s all kind of passed us now and we see a pretty good turnout,” said Scruby. “Every bit helps.”

The food bank is also accepting cash donations at the food drive.