Even in these poor economic times, it can still be hard to picture Grande Prairie households living in poverty. That’s what the United Way Northwest Alberta hopes to help others see at its first ever KD Gala next Monday. Interim Resource Development Officer Marnie Young says all of the dishes served at the luncheon will be made from Kraft Dinner.
“We’re forgetting about the glitz and the glam; it’s all about the KD. When you go to college or when you leave home, what do you exist on? Kraft Dinner. Some people have to live on this on a daily basis because it’s just a staple.”
According to a recent poverty profile for the city, the average cost of food for a family of four making a living wage is more than $12,000. Nearly one in 11 Grande Prairie households live in poverty, and the number of locals applying for income support has gone up by 44 per cent since 2015.
“Because we come from such an affluent area, we don’t always recognize poverty,” says Young. “It’s important to let people know that yes it is there and yes it is in Grande Prairie. They need to be aware of it and the United Way supports the programs that help combat it.”
One of those programs is the Grande Prairie Schools snack program, which has handed out more than 50,000 pieces of fresh fruit to students in need. A speaker from the Catholic school district will be at the luncheon, along with Dave Dyle from Pita Pit and volunteers from the Tabano Centre.
The “gala” will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Golden Age Centre on January 30th. Tickets are $25 in advance by calling 780-532-1105 or $30 at the door.