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May 18, 2024 May 18, 2024

Cardston Food Bank mitigating food security issues for residents

Posted on April 18, 2024 by admin

By Heather Cameron
Westwind Weekly News

The Cardston Food Bank is located at EPIC Youth Services at 405 Main St. in Cardston.

“We are primarily a youth center, and during the pandemic added a food bank as a way to support the food security issues here in our own community,” said Jeremy Prete, Director of the Cardston Food Bank.

The food bank, Prete says, is open the first and third Fridays of every month from 9 a.m. until noon, and they accept donations between 3 and 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday or during Food Bank days, plus they are also willing to arrange other drop off times. 

Currently, Prete says, there are over 150 registered recipients, and more than 100 hampers are picked up each month. In addition to community hampers, Prete says, the Food Bank also distributes 40 to 60 sack lunches to the homeless community each month as well as hosting an afterschool snack program for nearly 700 students per month.

“These numbers have remained high since the pandemic and, with (the) regional economy being what it is, does not show signs of slowing down,” said Prete. 

The Food Bank, Prete says, is powered by a volunteer staff – between six and 12 community volunteers and local missionaries – who sort food, as well as build and distribute hampers every two weeks.

“Local people can do a lot to assist in food security,” said Prete. “For example, plant an extra row of vegetables to donate to the food bank. Grab one extra bag of an item that you find on sale at your favourite store and donate that to the Food Bank. Sign up to volunteer…there’s an easy link online at epic–youth.com. Pick an amount that you’re comfortable with and donate each month and become a perpetual donor. Every little bit helps. And our organization can issue tax receipts.”

As far as donating goes, Prete says, people can donate online at epic-youth.com or through several food and fundraising drives throughout the community. 

“Our most noteworthy partnerships come from the Town of Cardston, Cardston Extra Foods, and Cardston Bargain Shop,” said Prete. “These partners along with other friends and service organizations have been able to keep our shelves filled with food for four years now. We offer family hampers and available fresh and frozen foods as well.”

The Alberta government, Prete says, has also been extremely supportive of food security programs.

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