Food Bank receives $20K donation to respond to immediate needs from pandemic

The Prince Albert and Area Community Foundation helped pick the food bank for a $20,000 donation from the Lawson Foundation. (Herald file photo)

The Prince Albert Food Bank received a $20,000 cheque on Tuesday to assist with an anticipated spike in demand.

According to the Prince Albert and Area Community Foundation (PAACF), the organization was approached by the Lawson Foundation. The Toronto-based private national family foundation focuses on the healthy development of children and youth in Canada.

The PAACF was asked to help identify a cause in the city responding to immediate needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After a number of calls, discussion with my board members, we decided that probably the food bank would be the appropriate recipient because first of all they are dealing, of course, with people with immediate needs,” said Executive Director Marilyn Peterson.

She added that the food bank works with a number of other groups, so the money would scatter to several populations.

Kim Scruby, the Prince Albert Food Bank’s executive director, said they haven’t received an influx of clients so far—but he knows it’s coming.

“Oddly, we’re still waiting for the big increase in traffic to come,” he said.

“I think once the full impact of all the layoffs and that type of thing effect, which I’m guessing might be later next week, it’s going to totally change how we do everything here.”

He said the food bank has been getting calls wondering how the process of getting food works, such as what they need for ID and when they can come in.

“It was great to be chosen for this donation. They had called a while back just asking if we were interested, what we do, etc. It’s definitely welcomed,” said Scruby.

“It will help keep the shelves stocked.”

Peterson said handing off the cheque, she could see how surprised and thrilled staff were.

“It’s great to see what a great reaction they had, seeing how much they were going to be able to do with those funds.”

The Prince Albert Food Bank is open from 9 a.m. to noon, then 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. from Monday to Friday.

Hamper pick-up hours are 1 to 2:30 p.m. Each hamper provides a three-day supply of food depending on inventory.

Over the past year, according to its website, the Prince Albert Food Bank gives out an average of 1,000 hampers a month, which serves around 3,000 people. Half of those are children.