Every little bit helps

Prince Albert Food Bank executive director Wes Clark poses with a few bags of donated wild game meat, courtesy of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald.

It’s just one of many Christmas traditions in Prince Albert, and food bank executive director Wes Clark never gets tired of seeing it.

On Tuesday, representatives from the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) stopped by the Prince Albert Food Bank to bring a little Christmas cheer, along with roughly 400 pounds of wild game meat.

The FSIN makes the donations annually in Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Regina and North Battleford, and for Clark, it’s a welcome sight to see.

“It’s great,” Clark said. “It touches on food security issues, but also food sovereignty…. It’s a by the people, for the people concept, and it’s wonderful.”

Clark said they’re always happy to receive food donations, but sometimes they can’t always use what they get. Programs like the Prince Albert Community Kitchen benefit from special ingredients, but generally the food bank thrives on simple donations like carrots, potatoes and onions. While wild meat is a luxury, it’s also easy to use, making it a welcome addition for food bank users.

“Our backbone is vegetables,” Clark said. “Potatoes, carrots and onions. Why? Because everybody eats them, and this (meat) is the same type of thing. With a community that has a high First Nations representation, looking at what’s a staple in those folks’ diets in critically important.”

Clark doesn’t expect the wild game to last long since it will be in such high demand. In a busy time of year, the entire 400 pounds will be gone in roughly a day. However, he’s not focused on how long it lasts. He’s just happy to see the FSIN help meet their needs.

“That could easily be gone in a day, but that’s not the point though. Whether it’s one can or one pack of hotdogs, it doesn’t matter, we just appreciate all of it.”

Members of the FSIN where unavailable for comment, but in a media release Chief Bobby Cameron said donating the meat was a great way to help the community while exercising their treaty rights.

“These lands have always given to us, and we have an obligation to give to those who cannot do for themselves,” he said.

@kerr_jas • jason.kerr@paherald.sk.ca