‘The timing couldn’t be better’: PA Food Bank gets $25,000 boost

SIGA President and CEO Zane Hansen and Northern Lights Casino GM Angela Isbister pose for a photo with PA Food Bank representatives Kim Scruby, Laura Uvery and Cathryn Abrametz following a donation Thursday morning. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

The Prince Albert Food Bank received a much needed boost from SIGA and the Northern Lights Casino on Thursday, and not a moment too soon.

SIGA and Northern Lights donated $25,000 to the food bank Thursday morning. Food Bank executive director Kim Scruby said the donation was a welcome surprise.

“This is amazing for us and the timing couldn’t be better,” he said.

“I was really surprised in a really good way.”

Over the last fiscal year, the food bank has provided 11,416 food hampers, while also running a summer meal program. Combined, they’ve served 112,279 meals to residents in the Prince Albert area.

Scruby said they’ve seen a significant increase in demand, but thankfully haven’t run out of food. However, it has stretched their budget.

“We’re facing the same pressures with inflation as everybody else is, so this is incredible, and the timing couldn’t be better,” he said. “This kind of community support is the only thing that keeps our doors open.

Scruby said this is one of the most significant donations the PA Food Bank has received in its history.

“It will go a long way,” he said. “The timing couldn’t be better. We discovered in the last thaw that we need a new room … so this is certainly going to help. It frees up other money to fill-up the shelves for the community.”

Northern Lights Casino GM Angela Isbister said they’ve noticed many local residents struggling with the cost of living, and wanted to help out. She said they’ve supported the PA Food Bank in the past, so donating to them again was an easy decision.

“Over the last year we’ve seen the increased need out there in Prince Albert and Area for food hampers and food programs,” Isbister said. “Northern Lights Casino and SIGA wanted to step up to help the Prince Albert Food Bank in filling that need for families.”

Thursday’s donation was just one of several SIGA planned as part of its $225,000 Community Investment Food Security Strategy. The organization plans to donate to food banks in every community with a SIGA casino.

SIGA President and CEO Zane Hansen said they wanted to invest in the community, and supporting the food bank was a great way to do it.

“We’ve got seven properties across Saskatchewan and have been very fortunate,” Hansen said. “Our customers and the markets have been so good to us, (and) nutrition is a big part of what we like to support as a company.”